The move is a part of Paytm’s ramped-up focus on O2O, which recently announced its entry into local services space
Indian m-commerce giant Paytm, run by Noida-based One97 Communications, has acquired Near.in, a marketplace app for hyperlocal services such as home needs, health & wellness, events and skills.
While the size of the deal has not been officially disclosed, a The Economic Times report has pegged it at as a cash-and-stock deal worth US$1.5 million-US$2 million.
The move is a part of Paytm’s ramped-up focus on O2O (online to offline commerce), according to an official statement. In October this year, the Noida-based firm had announced its plans to roll out hyperlocal business, starting with food ordering, table booking, cinema tickets and deals in the neighbourhood.
This is the first acquisition by Paytm since it’s raising of US$680 million funding from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and affiliate Ant Financial Services (Alipay) in September this year.
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“We see enormous potential for O2O in India, which is a perfect blend of online and offline commerce. With this core belief, we have acquired Near.in and we will continue to invest more in this space. Near has a significant network of local service providers in place and a stellar team leading it,” said Kiran Vasireddy, Senior Vice President and Head of Investments at Paytm.
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“We are confident that their platform and team will add further strength to our other O2O initiatives, which is a key focus area for us,” he added.
Launched in 2014 by Sunil Goyal, Lomesh Dutta and Akshay Khanna, Near.in enables consumers to book for various hyperlocal services with verified providers. In addition to home needs and health & wellness, users can also book for pest control, yoga classes, salon services, dance classes, and birthday activities on the Android app.
Founded in 2000, One97 is a leading mobile Internet company that offers digital goods and services under the Paytm brand. It also provides mobile advertising, marketing and payment services to merchants.
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The firm claims that it recently crossed the 100-million digital wallet user mark and that Paytm users carry out over 75 million transactions every month.
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