Buffett eyes investment in India-based tech company

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Berkshire Hathaway, the investment firm founded by Warren Buffett, is reportedly looking to invest in an Indian tech startup.

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Buffett’s Berkshire is in talks to invest between $285 million and $357 million in the parent company of the country’s largest mobile payments company, Paytm, according to The Economic Times, which cited two people familiar with the situation. That would give Berkshire a 3 percent to 4 percent stake in One97 Communications Ltd., and could represent the billionaire investor’s first direct investment in India.

The deal could be closed within the coming weeks, as reported by India’s Economic Times. It would value Paytm about more than $10 billion.

Paytm has more than 300 million users. Other investors include Japan’s SoftBank and Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, according to its website.

Buffett has been eyeing potential investments in India for some time. Last year, during an interview on a news outlet in the country, he said if he found a worthwhile investment in India he would “be there tomorrow,” citing the size of the population and the resulting purchasing power as benefits, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Paytm, which was founded in 2010, said it works with more than 7 million merchants. It conducted 5 billion transactions worth a cumulative $50 billion on an annualized basis, based on June figures, according to The Economic Times.

Meanwhile, Berkshire Hathaway reported last quarter that it had a cash stockpile worth more than $111 billion, as net income rose to $12 billion.