FinTech: Take Heart From Tesla – PayTM CEO After Damp Squib IPO

November 23, 2021 | FinTech, News, Venture Capital

So said PayTM founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma at a company town hall after the Indian fintech’s $2.5 billion IPO made a disastrous debut on Thursday.

That’s some erosion of wealth. Shares issued at Rs 2,150 in Indian fintech PayTM’s (NSE: PAYTM) record-breaking $2.5 billion IPO, listed at Rs 1,955 on November 18, and closed the day down by 27%. However, founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, who has long idolized Elon Musk and Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), told employees in a town hall that the car company was at one point among the most shorted stocks in the world, but is now the world’s most valuable carmaker. (NEWS 18)

The advice was a bit of an anti-climax considering that just hours before the listing Sharma had exulted saying it felt like he was “carrying the hopes and aspirations of young India to the Stock Market.”

Nevertheless, at the town hall he exhorted PayTM employees to look past the IPO debacle and to focus on the long-term opportunities for bringing digital payments to the country’s fast-growing internet population.

On Tuesday, shares of PayTM closed at Rs 1495, after touching a low of Rs 1,360.

At the close, investors in the IPO have, therefore, lost over 30% of their investment in a matter of days. Global investors taking a hit include BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

In an interview with Bloomberg News on Thursday, Sharma had said the share slump was “no indicator of the value of our company.”

“We are in it for the long haul. We’ll put our heads down and execute.”

Related Story: Berkshire Could Romp Home With 60% Gains In Paytm’s IPO

Images credit: (L) Vijay Shekhar Sharma (Flickr) and (R) Elon Musk (Flickr)

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