Paytm is reportedly looking to acquire the Noida-based last-minute hotel booking app, NightStay, for around $20 Mn.
While the development was confirmed by NightStay founder Nasr Khan to VCCircle, Paytm denied commenting on it in response to an email query from Inc42.
NightStay was started by Nasr Khan in December 2014 with a basic alpha app. The beta version of the product was announced in March 2015.
The idea behind NightStay was to create a platform that can provide instant hotel bookings for travellers while assuring a high quality of service and hygiene.
NighStay offers hotels an open and flexible option to provide flash accessibility on its app. They 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.
According to reports, the Paytm’s acquisition of NightStay signals the digital payments company’s foray into the hospitality space. The NightStay acquisition is a step ahead in this direction for Paytm.
It must be noted that in September 2017, reports had surfaced that the company was looking to acquire travel startup Via.com.
This comes at the time when the company is expanding its portfolio to diverse products and services. In May, Paytm had acquired Chennai-based online ticketing platform TicketNew to boost its entertainment arm.
Earlier this month, it invested $8.95 Mn (INR 61 Cr) in Entertainment arm and also gave its Paytm Inbox users access to free in-app content across categories such as Live TV, News, Cricket, Entertainment Videos, and Games on the go.
The company is betting huge on new sectors, particularly entertainment. In a statement, the company claimed that its entertainment arm has increased its online penetration in India by more than 50%. It has also scaled its ticketing business to 660 cities.
In February, it had claimed to have achieved 5x growth in online ticket sales in 2017 by selling 52 Mn movie and events tickets. Madhur Deora, chief financial officer and senior vice-president, Paytm, had claimed that the company contributes 25%-30% towards the opening weekend box office collection of big movies released in India.
In July 2017, Paytm also acquired a majority stake in Insider.in, an events ticketing platform, to tap into the rapidly growing live entertainment space in India.
[The development was reported by The Times of India.]