Mark Schwartz who played a major role in Alibaba’s US$25 billion IPO joins Paytm’s Board

By Sainul Abudheen K for e27

Mark Schwartz is currently Vice Chairman of the Goldman Sachs Group and Chairman of Goldman Sachs in Asia-Pacific

India’s leading mobile payment and commerce platform Paytm, run by Delhi-based One97 Communications, has announced that Mark Schwartz, Vice Chairman of the Goldman Sachs Group and Chairman of Goldman Sachs in Asia-Pacific, will join its Board.

Schwartz, who is currently based in Beijing, has been a member of Goldman’s management committee. He played a major role in helping Alibaba Founder Jack Ma and Executive Vice Chairman Joseph Tsai with Alibaba’s US$25 billion IPO in New York in 2014.

“We are honoured to welcome Mark to Paytm’s board,” said Paytm Founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma said. “He has played a critical role in building leading businesses in the Asia Pacific region and across the world. I am confident Mark’s insights would offer excellent leadership for Paytm as we work towards bringing half a billion Indians to the mainstream economy.”

Schwartz has over 27 years of experience in Goldman Sachs. He joined the firm’s investment banking department in 1979. After relocating to Tokyo as the President of the Japan unit in 1997, he became the Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asia Pacific in 1999. He retired from the firm in 2001 but later rejoined as the Asia Pacific Chairman in 2012.

“I’m thrilled to join Paytm as a board member,” said Schwartz. “India is one of the most dynamic and interesting economies in the world and I’m incredibly excited about working with Vijay and his team.”

Founded in 2000, One97 is a leading mobile Internet company that offers digital goods and services. It also provides mobile advertising, marketing and payments to merchants. It claims to have over 140 million registered users.

The company’s investors include Ant Financials (Alipay), Alibaba Group, SAIF Partners, Sapphire Venture, Mediatek and Silicon Valley Bank. Ratan Tata, Sapphire Venture and Silicon Valley Bank are also among its investors.

As per a recent report, Paytm is in advanced talks with a slew of investors, including Temasek, GIC, MediaTek and Foxconn, to raise between US$300 million and US$350 million in funding.

Paytm is in the final stages of launching its payments bank which will allow it to open current, savings accounts for users with INR 1 lakh (US$1,500) as limit. Paytm cannot however lend or issue credit cards to customers.

Last September, Alibaba Group and its affiliate Ant Financial Services (Alipay) made a strategic investment of US$680 million in the firm.\

First appeared at e27