People Matters had reported in September that Paytm was in talks with Nearbuy and Little Internet for an acquisition deal. Both the platforms - Nearbuy and Little Internet offer discount deals to customers on restaurants, salons, and other establishments. An acquisition deal with them, as reported previously, would help PayTM establish itself in the hyperlocal space.
Now, as per the media reports, Nearbuy and Little Internet have merged, and that Paytm is the majority stakeholder in the merged entity. According to the media reports, the merged entity would occupy 88% of the hyperlocal space. Though both the entities: Nearby and Little Internet will continue to independently exist, the integration with the Paytm app will happen over the next month.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma reportedly said to the media that the deal highlights that commitment that Paytm has towards the small and large retailers, especially in the age of mobile e-commerce and digital payments.
The deal would also open opportunities for cross-selling for both Paytm and the merged entity. The reports also state that it is Ankur Warikoo who is most likely to head the merged entity. Apparently, the aim behind it to consolidate the position of the merged entity (including the integrated Paytm’s payment system) and to become the absolute choice of the consumer in the hyperlocal space.
As of now the total merchant count for the merged entity comes close to 40,000 and the companies expect to raise to 100,000 by the end of next year, 2018.
“Paytm’s goal is to provide its base of over five million merchants, tools to expand their business and to offer its customers the opportunity to buy all categories of digital and physical goods,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, CEO, Paytm.