One97 Communications, which owns the Paytm brand, sees ample opportunities to implement early AI offerings and will be at the forefront of the Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) revolution, its founding CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma said.
Sharma said the digital payments company aims to become “free cash flow positive” in the near future. This comment is important as Paytm has posted an operating profit (EBIDTA before ESOP cost) for two consecutive quarters.
“I see AGI as something like the smartphones of 10 years ago: too ripe for innovation and too powerful to become part of everyday life at scale,” Sharma said in a letter to shareholders on Sunday, adding that the company’s technology teams have begun to see very encouraging results already.
“I think in 2023, with the advent of early-stage AGI, we will see more opportunities for business efficiencies and early AI offerings.”
FREE CASH FLOW
In the just concluded fourth quarter, Paytm reported a 51% increase in revenue from operations to ₹2334 crore while its operating profit was ₹224 crore including full year UPI incentive recorded during the trimester.
“I am very happy to announce our EBITDA profitability (before ESOP cost) for the second quarter. Our next milestone is to make Paytm free cash flow positive in the near future. This has been possible thanks to the disciplined allocation of resources and a focus on what has become our main driver of revenue and growth: the payment distribution and financial services business,” Sharma said in the letter to shareholders.
“Our focus on quality revenue has brought more rupees to the bottom line and our incremental business continues to drive better margins.
As a responsible payments technology company, we continue to build our business on strong adherence to compliance, operations risk, and the regulatory framework.”
Noting that the decision to use in-house technology for risk management and controls has resulted in a significant competitive advantage for the company, Sharma said Paytm will continue to invest in this area as a key focus area.
In 2022-23, Paytm’s revenue grew 61% year-on-year to ₹7.99 billion rupees, making it the highest-revenue new-age company in India. Paytm is on track to achieve its vision of bringing Rs 10 crore merchants and Rs 50 crore as paying users in the near future.