In a bid to grab a pie of the growing mobile messaging industry, leading digital wallet company Paytm is reportedly planning to start its own messaging service like Facebook-owned WhatsApp.
According to a report in Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, “the Noida, India-based company is preparing to introduce messaging functionality into its smartphone app”.
Paytm, however, was yet to confirm the news.
According to the report, “the update and an official launch are expected to happen within the next two weeks”.
According to media reports, Neeraj Arora, WhatsApp’s Global Business Head, is currently member of Paytm’s board of directors.
WhatsApp currently has over 200 million monthly active users in India and one billion users across the world.
Paytm, on the other hand, has over 220 million users and has over five million offline merchants across India.
Paytm, run by One97 Communication Ltd, recently raised $1.4 billion funding by the Japanese internet and telecom major SoftBank Group.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved SoftBank’s 20 per cent stake acquisition last month.
CCI India approves acquisition of 20 percent stake in One97 Communications Limited by SoftBank Group Corp – said the government agency in a Twitter post.
Paytm was launched in August 2010 as an online recharges and bill payments platform and soon expanded into online and offline use-cases.
In January 2014, it launched the Paytm Wallet.
Paytm launched its banking operations under Paytm Payments Bank in May, which will be fully operational by mid-August. Paytm intends to expand the bank to 31 branches and 3000 customer service points in the first year of its operations.
Paytm also raised $200 million earlier this year from SAIF Partners and Alibaba for its ecommerce business Paytm Mall, which comes under Paytm Ecommerce. Incidentally, SoftBank is not an investor here.