Digital payment major Paytm is reportedly in discussion to acquire online travel firm Via.com in a bid to get strong foot holding in travel & hospitality business. The Noida based startup is believed to have initiated the preliminary discussions, though preliminary sheet is yet to be signed. The major part of the discussion will hinge on Via.com’s potential valuation, which sources claimed to be pegged around $80 million.
Paytm’s quest to acquire a travel company stems from the fact that its travel business is growing at a pretty robust pace. In fact, its travel business crossed annualized gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $500 million in January this year. However, Paytm’s travel business is still a far cry from Nasdaq-listed MakeMyTrip and Yatra.
Via.com was founded in 2007 in IT city Bengaluru as a full-fledged online travel company. Today the company boosts pretty good tractions in terms of travel agents and customers. According to the information, the firms boosts nearly 100,000 active travel agents across 2,600 towns & cities and covers more than 13,000 pin codes spread across the entire Asian continent.
Paytm in acquisition spree
Paytm seems to be going full throttle on acquisition front, with the company currently holding talks to acquire some really promising companies across the sector. Recently, the company was in news for holding advanced talks to acquire deal discovery app Little and another startup firm ‘Nearby.’ However, these talks still haven’t fructified into a deal.
In other development, Paytm’s e-commerce arm Paytm Mall is reportedly mulling to pick up a minority stake in grocery startup Bigbasket. The investment will presumably help Paytm Mall in competing against big players like Flipkart & Amazon.
Paytm’s latest acquisition spree may have been buoyed by the fact that it received $1.4 billion funding from SoftBank in May this year. The company is already deeply funded, with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba being its largest investor.