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Paytm, PolicyBazaar parent among 6 startups looking at global listing

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BENGALURU/ NEW DELHI: Around half-a-dozen companies — including Paytm and EtechAces Marketing and Consulting, which houses both PolicyBazaar and PaisaBazaar — are considering an international listing but are awaiting detailed guidelines from the corporate affairs ministry and the revenue department.
While legal amendments for a global IPO have been undertaken, guidelines on where they can list as well as the tax regime are yet to be thrashed out and companies are expecting that it will be clearer in the Budget.
EtechAces Marketing and Consulting, which has kick-started the internal process for an IPO, is looking at a timeline of around October to be ready for the issue, two persons aware of the matter told TOI.
The company, which was last valued at around $1.5 billion, recently saw a Dubai-based fund buying into the company through a secondary share sale, another person confirmed. Last July, SoftBank had picked up an additional stake by investing $130 million in a secondary share sale of the company.
Paytm too has started internal discussions on the matter, including a potential overseas listing. “There is no timeline yet for the Paytm IPO. But it is definitely working on the path and is tracking changes in listing rules closely,” a person aware of the company’s plans said. Paytm is the most valued Indian startup at $16 billion since it closed a $1 billion fund-raise in 2019. SoftBank’s Vision Fund is an investor in both Paytm and EtechAces.
When contacted, Policy-Bazaar co-founder and director Alok Bansal said the company is inclined towards a domestic IPO but it will take the final call, whether to list in India or abroad, based on final listing guidelines, by this financial year. Though the company has been carrying out small-sized secondary transactions, it is expected to go for sizeable pre-IPO fund-raise this year.
A Paytm spokesperson declined to comment.
Over the next two years, multiple local startups are expected to launch their IPOs including the likes of online food delivery platform Zomato, logistics firm Delhivery, and online beauty store Nykaa. This would pave the way for these firms to provide an exit to venture capital funds, who have invested in these startups over the years.
The corporate affairs ministry has identified seven to eight international markets where Indian companies could list, including the US, the UK and Japan, apart from GIFT City in Gujarat.

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