Paytm, an India-based payments company, has raised $1bn in a new funding round led by US-based T Rowe Price. The fresh funds bring the company’s valuation to nearly $16bn.

The equity financing round was also joined by Ant Financial, Softbank Vision Fund, and Discovery Capital, among others.

According to Paytm’s parent company One97 Communications CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, SoftBank invested $200m, while Ant Financial contributed $400m.

Paytm plans to use the funds to expand its payments and financial services in rural parts of India.

Initially, the company worked to boost the adoption of its QR-code technology in stores. The service is said to be currently available in more than 2,000 towns and cities across 650 districts.

The company also aims to facilitate the mobile-enabled financial services in rural regions of the country.

Paytm added plans to expand in consumer internet space, while introducing financial services such as lending, insurance, investments and stockbroking.

Sharma added: “At Paytm, we are committed to bringing half a billion Indians to the mainstream economy by onboarding them in the formal financial ecosystem.

“This new investment by our current and new investors is a reaffirmation of our commitment to serve Indians with new-age financial services.”

The company intends to invest INR100bn ($1.39bn) over the coming three years to cater to underserved users in India.

Earlier this month, the company introduced OTP-less online and offline card payments for transactions less than INR2,000.