Update: In a conversation with MediaNama, Paytm chief executive Vijay Shekhar Sharma denied that the company has invested in AbhiBus and ClearTax.
Earlier: One97 Communications, which runs mobile digital wallet Paytm, has invested in bus ticketing platform AbhiBus and online tax returns service ClearTax, reports VCCircle citing sources in the company. Paytm declined to comment on the development when reached out. Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma has yet to respond to text message and calls requesting a confirmation. Another senior Paytm executive has also declined to comment.
It’s interesting to note that last year AbhiBus had tied up with online recharge service JustRechargeIt to offer bus tickets booking for over 1,500 operators and 15,000 routes. The service was similar to the one offered by Paytm, which launched bus booking service in 2012.
ClearTax is an online service which allows users to file tax returns and was one of the startups selected for Y Combinator’s accelerator programme in June 2014. In July 2013, ClearTax had entered into a partnership with Paytm to offer free tax filing to Paytm users.
Earlier in September, Paytm raised another round of funding from Alibaba and Ant Financial. It was reported that Alibaba Group would pick up about 20% stake in Paytm for about $680 million which would see Ant Financial’s stake lowered to 20%.
Other investments by Paytm
– Paytm participated in a $5 million round of funding for hyperlocal on-demand transport & delivery services provider Jugnoo in June.
– Hyperlocal deals marketplace ‘Little’ raised $50 million from Paytm and other investors in July.
– In September, the company invested $10 million in logistics data analytics firm LogiNext .
Paytm and Jabong
Interestingly, earlier in September a source-based report mentioned that Global Fashion Group (GFG) which owns fashion etailer Jabong, was looking to sell the ecommerce platform to Paytm. The report added that AB Kinnevik was also holding negotiations on behalf of Rocket Internet and that the talks were in initial stages with the company being valued at around $500 million and $800 million.
New services on Paytm
Earlier in September, Paytm announced plans to add movie and entertainment tickets on its platform. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and chairman of Paytm had said that the company was planning to create a marketplace for entertainment tickets with deals and offers.
In July, the company started offering industrial supplies on its platform including hand tools, power tools, safety and security equipment, test & measurement apparatuses, machines, lab supplies, abrasives etc. Paytm claimed that the initiative would help SMEs get in touch with different suppliers for different needs.
Over 100 million users
In August, Paytm claimed that it crossed 100 million users and was carrying out 75 million transactions every month. The company said that its wallet was now accepted by over 80,000 merchants across the country. It’s closest competitor in the wallet space, MobiKwik, claims to have 25 million users in the country.