Paytm is looking to launch a travel marketplace just like Alibaba-owned Alitrip in India. For this purpose, Economic Times reports that the company has hired online fashion portal Zovi co-founder Satish Maini to develop the platform for the company.
This news comes in after reports of Alibaba infusing more funds into the company surfaced online. Apparently, the Chinese conglomerate wants to up its stake to 40 percent in Paytm, and looks to invest another $600 million (Rs 4,000 crore approximately) for expansion purposes. This money will be used by Paytm to expand its business further.
“Our approach is to build an Alitrip kind of business in India. We are building a digital commerce business of new categories to counter scale of physical commerce and logistics,” company’s co-founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma told the publication.
Sharma also said that they roped in Maini only to build this particular marketplace. He will continue to work at Zovi, and will bring his expertise to Paytm’s travel project, as he has in the past worked on building Cleartrip. A travel marketplace will work on the similar lines of a common e-commerce marketplace.
The platform will enable travel agents, hotel owners and other travel service providers list their business online, and then compete with each other to sell its service to the interested buyer. For example, if you’re looking to head to Delhi in a cab, the travel marketplace will give you the optimal options for both travel and stay from all the listed options available.
The current valuation of Paytm is said to be around $1.5 billion, after Alibaba picked up 25 percent stake in the company and will increase to $3.7 billion if the Chinese company decides to invest more. Even Ratan Tata put his money into the company, and became the personal adviser to Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s venture.