Even though it has been said that many people in India are yet to fully embrace digital payments, platforms such as Paytm seem to be doing decently well in the market. The electronic payment and e-commerce brand is now set to buy daily deal sites Nearbuy and Little.
Both the deal sites are well-known and well-funded. While Nearbuy was formerly popular as Groupon, Little has witnessed the support of SAIF Partners and Singapore's GIC. With such backing, the firms are said to have raised about $80 million dollars and are now gearing up to be sold to Paytm in a cash and stock deal, pegged at about $30 million, reported the Times of India.
Nearbuy and Little offer deals in restaurants, hotels, salons, spas and movies and they will be a good addition to Paytm's existing offers. The Delhi-NCR based brand is known to have been trying to expand to such areas for a while now, and this deal could just be what it wanted.
While the deal is already making quite some buzz, neither Paytm nor the other firms have commented on the matter.
Paytm earlier also attempted to buy digital payments platform Freecharge and was said to have made a bid of $10-15 million for the same. However, talks failed to materialise and Freecharge was then acquired by Axis Bank.
Meanwhile, Paytm has been expanding its area of interest for a while now and just a few days ago, it noted that its customer base had increased since demonetisation. "Paytm's user base has increased from 150 million last November to over 270 million today. There has been a 3.5x surge in transactions this October as compared to last year," Renu Satti, MD and CEO, Paytm Payments Bank, told the daily.
Additionally, the e-payments app also launched its own messaging feature called "inbox" a few days ago. The new feature is similar to WhatsApp and users can chat with their friends and family as well as make transactions from the app.
Speaking of this new feature Deepak Abbot, senior vice-president at Paytm said: "We have realized that besides making payments, our users and merchants also like to communicate with each other. One step for us towards meeting this customer need is Paytm Inbox where you can chat with friends, merchants and send or receive money effortlessly and securely."