Two months after it began talks with hyperlocal deal sites Little and Nearbuy, Paytm would be acquiring both in a “distress sale” for an estimated $30 million. It is a stock and cash deal, and Paytm is paying less than half the money raised $80 million by both startups, according to reports. Both Little and Nearbuy (formerly a part of Groupon India) list attractive deals in the categories of restaurants, movie theaters, hotels, salons, gyms, spas and more. Paytm had been eyeing the companies in a bid to ramp up its online-to-offline (O2O) presence. Also Read - Flipkart Mobiles Bonanza sale: iPhone 11, Poco X3, Realme Narzo 20A and other popular phones discountedAlso Read - Moto e7 Power review: A lot to like at Rs 7,499
Two years ago Paytm had a led a $50 million in funding Little Internet an event that also saw participation from SAIF Partners (one of Paytm s initial backers) and Tiger Global (which owned half of Flipkart until recently). Little, founded in 2015, currently operates in 17 cities and offers an array of deals via its website and mobile app. It is expected to boost Paytm’s m-commerce transactions. Little also offers merchants listed on its platform crucial customer intelligence that allows brands to better target their products. ALSO READ: Paytm acquires majority stake in events ticketing platform Insider.in Also Read - Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G price leaked, could be the most affordable 5G smartphone in India
Nearbuy, meanwhile, is popular for its discount coupons both at the merchant site as well as those offered through tie-ups with credit/debit card companies. Earlier this year, Nearbuy founder Ankur Warikoo said: “In the past one-and-a-half years, our top-line has increased five times and we have doubled our merchant base by expanding our reach from nine cities in 2015 to 33 at present. We are also ahead of Amazon as the highest-rated e-commerce app on Google Play Store.” ALSO READ: Paytm to invest Rs 5,000 crore in the next three years to counter global giants: Report
Paytm has of late struck for a variety of deals that have led to its transformation for a payments firm to a full-fledged e-commerce operation. Backed by giant investors in China’s Alibaba and Japan’s SoftBank, this $7 billion company has taken the e-commerce fight to Amazon and Flipkart and has emerged as a strong third player in the market. With its latest acquisition, it enters the hyperlocal services market that is worth $76 billion, and includes services across food, beauty, entertainment and travel. Less than 1 percent of the transactions in this space happen online; hence, the opportunity to grow is massive. And Paytm knows that too well.