India’s largest digital payment company Paytm has made the first acquisition of this year by acquiring hotel booking platform Nightstay for undisclosed amount. The latest acquisition would help the Alibaba backed company to further consolidate its travel business and also mark the maiden entry in the hotel booking category.
According to media reports, Paytm was engaged in talks to buy NightStay for nearly $20 Mn (Rs 142 crore). NightStay aggregates unsold hotel rooms across luxury and business hotel categories to offer last-minute discounted rates to travelers. It offers hotel booking services in metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Goa and Chennai. The hospitality startup had raised nearly $5000 funding almost three years back from slew of investors including BedRock Ventures and other angel investors.
Following the acquisition, NightStay founder Nisar Khan will spearhead the hotel booking business in Paytm.
Paytm had entered the travel business in 2014 by reselling tickets of rail, bus and flights. The Gurgaon headquartered company claims to have sold over 60 Mn tickets every year across rail, bus & rail bookings. The company has gone to claim that it is IRCTC’s largest reseller partner and is among the top sellers for bus as well as flight tickets.
Paytm has already announced that it is seriously mulling to invest Rs 500 crore for further expanding its travel business and has joined hands with scores of leading hospitality players across the segment. Its hotel partner includes leading names like Sarovar, Zuri, Treebo, Indian Hotels Co’s Ginger, Sterling and Vresorts.
While Paytm continues to push hard in the travel business segment, it faces intense competition from incumbent players like MakeMyTrip and Yatra. The Alibaba & SoftBank backed company is also going full throttle in expanding its other key verticals like events, e-commerce and wealth management.