Paytm has acquired Gurgaon-based services marketplace Near.in for $2 million, reports the Times of India. Near.in co-founders Lomesh Dutta and Suni Goyal will join Paytm as vice presidents, while Near.in’s early investors will exit the company.
Near.in had raised Rs 1.8 crore from a series of individual investors including Manish Vij of SVG Media and Anupam Mittal of Shaadi.com in January this year, only a month after its launch in December last year. It currently provides services like home needs (repair, pest control, laundry etc.), wellness (salon services, makeup, dietician, pet care etc.), classes, events, rentals (laptops, tablets etc.), and other services like visa assistance. As of now, the company provides its services in Delhi, Gurgaon, Bangalore and Mumbai.
This isn’t Paytm’s first investment in a online-to-offline service; it previously invested an undisclosed amount in the hyperlocal delivery and auto rickshaw hailing app Jugnoo last month, and had participated in a $50 million funding round for establishing an online to offline app-only marketplace called Little in July.
Paytm’s entry into hyperlocal services:
Note that Paytm, which raised an undisclosed amount in fresh funding from Alibaba and Ant Financial in September, was set to enter the hyperlocal services vertical, starting with food ordering, table bookings, cinema tickets and deals in the user’s neighbourhood. The company had mentioned that it has entered into partnership with companies like BookMyShow and Zomato to provide these services. The Near.in acquisition should help the company expand to other hyperlocal services as well.
– Last week, Paytm partnered with ICICI Bank to launch virtual prepaid cards, that can be used by wallet users at both offline and online stores for purchases. Read more here. In October, it started allowing wallet top ups at at Bank of Maharashtra ATMs.
– In November, MediaNama reported that Paytm was pushing its users to update their KYC (know your customers) details with them to increase their wallet limit to Rs 1 lakh. The same month, it partnered with Lendingkart to offer loans to sellers.
– In August, Paytm claimed that it crossed 100 million users and was carrying out 75 million transactions every month.
Our Paytm coverage here.