The startup ecosystem in India is flourishing like never before, and startup founders are witnessing unprecedented growth in their net worth closing the gap with some of the richest business personalities of India. As per Hurun’s India Rich List 2016, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm, is the richest Indian Entrepreneur under 40 and the biggest gainer as well. His wealth soared by 162% from Rs. 2,824 crore in 2015 to Rs. 7,300 crore currently. The list looks at entrepreneurs with a wealth of Rs. 1,600 crore or more. Vijay is followed by Nilima Motaparti, Divis Laboratories, with her wealth standing at Rs. 7,100 crore. Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-Founder of Ola Cabs is the youngest in the list with a worth of Rs. 3,000 crore which stood at Rs. 2,385 crore in the previous year. Men dominated the list with women occupying only 4% place in the list.
Paytm is the reason for Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s growth. It was founded in 2010, offering mobile recharge and utility bill payments. But today, it is emerged to become an end-end marketplace for consumers; from recharge to booking cars- you can do everything through this app. Paytm Wallet enables money transfer, hotel & travel bookings, movie ticket bookings and many more services. Paytm has 122 million active users. According to a report from Business Insider, Paytm has 130 million wallet users and 90 million monthly transactions (3 million daily transactions). It has expanded its wallet service across fuel stations, cabs & taxis as well as auto rickshaws for bill payments. Paytm has achieved the unicorn startup status with a valuation of $2.9 billion. However, the company is bleeding money every year. In the FY 2014-15, Paytm registered a loss of 372 crores.
The Rise of Paytm & Vijay Shekhar
Paytm has received a total funding of Rs. $740 so far. The major investor in the company is Alibaba group with 40% stake. According to the Economic Times report the founder, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, holds 21% stake in Paytm which fell by 6% in 2015 when Alibaba, Ant Financial invested about $680 million in the company. Even after losing his stake by 6%, his wealth gained by 162%. Paytm is said to raise $300 million in a fresh round of funding from MediaTek and Goldman Sachs which will increase its valuation to $5 billion.
Talking about Hurun’s ‘Entrants under 40’ List, Vijay Shekhar jumped up from 9th position in the last year directly to the 1st place in the current year. Nilima Motaparti & Divi Satchandra Kirna (Divis Laboratories) and Divyank Turakhia & Bhavin Turakhia (Directi Web Services) are new to the list, replacing Ankit Bhati (Ola Cabs), Shivinder Singh & Malvinder Singh (Fortis Healthcare) and Naveen Tiwari (Inmobi). However, this year the list has 4% women compared to previous year’s 3%. The members of the list belong to the age group of 30-40 years.
The startup world is highly dynamic. Sudden rise and fall have become a norm for a company these days. Ankit Bhati, co-founder of Ola disappeared from the list whereas his partner’s worth is increased by 25.7% from Rs. 2,385 crores to Rs. 3,000 crores. Flipkart Founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal’s worth decreased directly by 40%. The only self-made woman entrepreneur in the list is Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (Biocon) with a net worth of 10,800 crore.
The gain in Vijay’s worth came as a surprise even after Paytm’s loss and his stake decreasing by 6%. Probably the performance of the company in terms of generating revenue and attracting investors has been really good, leading towards an increase in its valuation.