Digital wallet company, Paytm has acquired Nearbuy and Little, two popular deal platforms. Paytm wants to emerge as more than a digital wallet company and the acquisition of these two platforms is part of its future plans. Paytm mentioned in a statement that the merger of Nearbuy and Little was a strategic investment in the resultant entity for a majority stake. Nearbuy's initial investor, Sequoia Capital India continues to be a shareholder in the merged entity. Whether Sequoia sold a part of its investment to Paytm is unclear.
Nearbuy was initially formed as SoSasta in 2011. It was later acquired by Groupon Inc. When the founders of SoSasta exited the company, it came to be known as Groupon India in 2013. It was later rebranded as Nearbuy in 2015, after Sequioa Capital India bought a majority stake out with 17 million USD.
Little, comparatively, had a less complex history. It was founded in 2015 by Manish Chopra and Satish Mani, also the force behind online fashion brand, Zovi. According to a report in Mint, Little began with the support of Paytm as they wanted to figure out the market. It had an investment of 50 million USD from Paytm, SAIF Partners and TIGER Global.
"This combination of Nearbuy and Little marks a great opportunity for us to reinforce our commitment to support small and large retailers in the new age of mobile commerce and payments. I am sure consumers will love the greater selection and reach of everyday deals and discount offers," Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of Paytm mentioned.
Paytm stands to gain a great deal from this acquisition as it will have a larger pool of merchant partnerships.
Over the last year, Paytm has been aggressively expanding its categories. In fact, in July, Paytm acquired a majority stake in ticketing platform, Insider.in. It also invested in MobiQuest's loyalty platform m'loyal.
Paytm is also setting up a messaging service, Inbox, similar to WhatsApp. As of now, this digital wallet facilitates bill payments, peer-to-peer payments, booking shows, travel bookings, flight tickets, insurance, loans, challans, charity and much more.
After the mammoth funding of 1.4 billion dollars from SoftBank, Paytm is now valued at 9 billion dollars.