Indian e-payments giant Paytm is continuing its expansion in the ‘Travel & Hospitality’ sector. Backed by Japan-based Softbank, and China-based Alibaba, the e-payments giant is acquiring last minute hotel booking firm NightStay Travels Pvt. Ltd, according to reports. The firm is based in New Delhi and offers last minute hotel bookings through its mobile application.
NightStay had its seed funding of $500,000 from Bedrock Venture Management, before raising $10 million in funding in multiple rounds from other investors. Though not made public, the deal is said to be around $20 million (approximately INR 130 crore) in a cash-and-equity arrangement.
In general, NightStay acquires unsold inventory from Hotel owners at a discounted price and lists these rooms in three different categories. On the other hand, Paytm is turning out to be a major player hotel bookings, after becoming the largest seller for IRCTC tickets, second-largest player in bus tickets, and among the top three players in flight bookings.
Paytm aims to double its volume of tickets sold (in Travel & Hospitality sector) by the next fiscal year. The acquisition of NightStay rightly points in the same direction.
Paytm also has bought the parent company of ticket booking app ‘TicketNew’ in a deal reported to be between $30-40 million as recently as May this year, in a bet to compete directly with the market leader in this segment ‘Bookmyshow’ app.
With the acquisition of NightStay and TicketNew, Paytm is clearly looking to leverage its user base in a number of ways, including the fast-growing Hospitality sector.