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Grapevine: Microsoft may invest in Paytm; Union Bank may pare stake in insurance JV
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Digital payments firm Paytm is in talks with US technology giant Microsoft to raise $100 million (about Rs 760 crore at current exchange rate) in an extension to its $1 billion fundraising (Rs 7,600 crore) initiated last year, two people in the know told The Economic Times.

This also comes at a time when Paytm has already been fighting a bruising online payments battle with the likes of Google Pay.

The digital payments firm would gain in a big way from bringing on board Microsoft as it gets access to the firm’s connectivity, computing, and storage solutions. 

In November, Paytm said it had raised $1 billion in a financing round led by T Rowe Price and joined by existing investors Ant Financial and SoftBank. 

However, only about $720 million (Rs 5,472 crore) of that capital has so far come in, going by regulatory filings of the digital payments firm.

Meanwhile, Union Bank of India, which received a 30% stake in joint venture IndiaFirst Life Insurance through its merger with Andhra Bank, is planning to pare its holding to less than 10%, a senior official told Mint.

Going by guidelines, one promoter cannot hold more than 10% stake in two insurance ventures. The bank already owns 25.10% stake in another joint venture insurance company – Star Union Dai-Ichi Life Insurance.

In another development, dotin Inc., which operates a business-to-business focussed artificial intelligence platform, has raised capital in a seed funding round, according to reports.

The California-based company has raised the capital from Arka Venture Labs and Qu Ventures, TechCircle reported. However, it didn’t disclose the amount it raised.

Arka Venture is the India and US-based accelerator and funding platform anchored by Blume Ventures, Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV) and Emergent Ventures.

Qu Ventures, meanwhile, is an early-stage focussed venture capital firm that invests in companies targeting the market in Asia.
 

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