Paytm, the digital payments behemoth, has officially obtained NightStay, a last-minute hotel booking service. The development arrives 6 Months after media reports recommended the possible acquirement.
The deal symbolizes re-entry of Paytm into hotel booking sector. Previously, it was led by Nitin Misra, who is now managing Digital Gold and Consumer Lending departments at Paytm. Now, Nasr Khan (NightStay founder) will head hotel booking services of Paytm. The agreement was anticipated to be in the tune of $20 Million. However, there is no transparency on the details of the transaction.
As per the Alibaba-backed firm, it aims to spend Rs 500 Crore in expanding its travel processes and has partnered with more than 5,000 hotels comprising Zuri, Sarovar, Indian Hotels Co’s Ginger, Treebo, Vresorts, and Sterling all over the luxury, budget, and business sections. In addition to this, it plans to reach a 2 Million hotels inventory and alternative accommodations all over the world by 2020.
On a related note, Paytm earlier claimed that it has held meetings with UCWeb (the Alibaba-controlled browser) for an acquirement of the latter’s business, sources well known with the issue claimed to the media. The UC Browser by UCWeb surfaced as the biggest mobile browser overtaking Google Chrome in 2017, and now adds up for over 51% of the market. The transaction might be capitalized at $400–500 Million, the sources claimed.
Over the last couple of weeks, top officials of the firms have met to talk about the acquirement. CFO Madhur Deora is heading the meetings for Paytm. UCWeb, which has an active user base of 130 Million per month, had earlier held discussions with local handset manufacturers here to purchase its domestic business, but those discussions seem to have stalled. SoftBank-supported Paytm sees a chance in employing the browser to market its goods and purchase a new base of consumers.