Paytm has entered the business of hotel booking with its acquisition of NightStay. The company has launched the facility allowing users to do hotel bookings on the e-commerce platform. It is likely that Paytm will make use of the features that NightStay offered, which include “deals on last-minute bookings at luxury hotels”. This step marks a gradual expansion of the company in the travel industry to take on the likes of Goibibo, Travel Guru, ClearTrip, MakeMyTrip and more.
According to ET, the Alibaba-backed company is planning to invest about Rs 500 crore in a bid to expand its travel booking segment. Paytm has already teamed up with “more than 5,000 hotels” that range across the budget, luxury, and business price segments. Some of the notable hotel partners that Paytm has teamed up with include Sarovar, Zuri, Vresorts, and Sterling. The report stated that the company is aiming “to reach 2 million hotels and alternative accommodations” across the world. In addition to the number of hotels, the company is also aiming to be the top destination for hotel booking in Asia by 2020.
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Paytm has not revealed any details about the acquisition deal with NightStay. But according to previous reports, it is likely that the deal was worth about $20 million or about Rs 142 crore. Diving further into how NightStay operates, it essentially records the “unsold inventory” of rooms “across luxury and business hotels”, and then offers interested users “last-minute concessional rates”.
Taking a look back, Paytm started its travel segment back in 2014 and the company claims to have sold more than 60 million tickets across various modes of transportation including rail, bus, and air. In addition to this, Paytm Travel also launched its foreign-exchange service for people traveling outside India. The report also indicated that Nasr Khan, the founder of NightStay will head the hotel-booking segment at Paytm Travel. As part of the announcement, Paytm also claimed that its users can access “more than 50,000 rooms daily on its platform and the company will team-up with hotels to make technology-driven solutions”.