Noida-headquartered digital payments company Paytm has strengthened its travel business with the acquisition of Noida-based last-minute hotel booking app, NightStay for an undisclosed amount.
The confirmation of acquisition comes nearly six months after reports surfaced that Paytm may acquire NightStay for $20 Mn (INR 142 Cr).
After the acquisition, NightStay founder Nasr Khan will lead the hotel-booking services at Paytm.
NightStay: Why It Aligns With Paytm?
Founded by Nasr Khan in December 2014, NightStay offers hotels an open and flexible option to provide flash accessibility on its app. Hoteliers can make their inventories available on the NightStay app, which is available from 12:00 noon till 12:00 midnight, and increase their footfall while maintaining their brand identity.
The startup is present in cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Goa, Chennai, and Hyderabad. It raised a $500K funding in August 2015 from BedRock Ventures and angel investors Rajesh Sawhney of GSF and Shailesh Vickram Singh, a partner at SeedFund.
What’s Next For Paytm And NightStay?
Paytm started its travel business in 2014 and claims to sell over 60 Mn tickets a year across rail, bus and flight bookings.
To scale up its travel plans Paytm plans to invest $70 Mn (INR 500 Cr) and has partnered with more than 5,000 hotels across the budget, luxury and business segments. Its hotel partners include chains like Sarovar, Zuri, Treebo, Indian Hotels Co’s Ginger, Sterling and VResorts.
The company said it aims to reach 2 Mn hotels, with 50 Mn rooms within the first 18 months, and become Asia’s top hotel-booking platform by 2020.
“We want to offer the broadest travel selection on our platform, and look forward to continuing our expansion with the help of our trusted travel partners,” said Madhur Deora, chief financial officer at Paytm.
The company also claimed that customers could access more than 50K daily room nights in the hotel space on its platform and that it would work closely with partner hotels to build technology-driven solutions.
In FY18, Paytm recorded sale of 38 Mn travel tickets on its platform. Paytm is aiming at 2x growth in ticketing volumes by end of FY19, with a target of becoming a dominant player in the online travel booking space.
The company has recorded a massive surge in bookings and claims to be emerging IRCTC’s largest reseller of train tickets, the second largest player for bus tickets, and among the top three sellers of flight tickets.
The company is in the middle of an expansion run across its verticals, which includes events and ticketing as well. With an annual run rate of 5 Bn transactions and $50 Bn in gross transaction value (GTV), Paytm has been fighting hard against players like MakeMyTrip and Yatra to dominate the Indian travel industry, which is expected to be worth $48 Bn by 2020.