Paytm lists being seen as a “foreign-owned and controlled” company as an IPO risk

For several years now, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, a first-generation Indian billionaire who founded what is now the country’s most valued tech unicorn, has batted for “indigenous” ventures. From calling Facebook the “most evil company in the world” to being at the front of forming an app developers’ association to lobby against global technology giants, Sharma has never minced words in promoting nationalist and protectionist policies.

Yet, as his 12-year-old fintech firm Paytm goes public, Sharma’s clamour can’t drown out the fact that his own company is not really Indian.

The Delhi NCR-headquartered fintech firm has listed the fact that it is a “foreign-owned and controlled company” as a risk in the draft offer document it filed with India’s stock market regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on July 16 (pdf), ahead of its IPO, which could be India’s largest yet.

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