Alibaba backed online marketplace, Paytm recently announced that it was doing good business during the ongoing Indian wedding season. It has also tied up with ICICI bank, where its mobile wallet can be topped up at the bank’s branches, across the country.
Nearer to its customers
Paytm has now shifted its attention, to the online-to-offline sector where it has bought out hyperlocal company, near.in. The start-up helps customers search for reliable services in their local area. It will benefit Paytm as it has a huge category offering, ranging from health to something as diverse as finding a local plumber. It is understood that the entire Near.in workforce has hopped over to Paytm, as part of the deal.
The near.in acquisition is thought to be in the region of a $2 million in cash and stock payment. This is a steal, if you consider Paytm recently received $680 from Alibaba. It is reported that Paytm plans to keep the cheque book open and go on a shopping spree for more acquisitions that will build consumer facing technology and has earmarked a Rs.150 crore budget to spend.
Some of Paytm’s other reported investments over the last 24 months include:
- Mobivite (mobile marketing platform)
- PlusTxt (cross-messaging platform)
- Jugnoo (hyperlocal delivery platform)
“O2O is a focus area for Paytm. Local commerce has massive potential in India, and this acquisition will help us grow the business even further. This is a new category for us. All the companies acquired by us till date, have had a strong presence in the O2O space. This business is still a blue ocean for us,” said Kiran Vasireddy, senior vice-president and head of investments, Paytm.