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Paytm acquires Shifu to better its consumer experience


Paytm has acquired Shifu, a consumer behavior prediction platform for an undisclosed amount. An ET Telecom report pegs the deal at around $8 million. Post acquisition, Shifu’s team of 20 along with its 3 co-founders will join Paytm, where they will be responsible for bettering the consumer experience.

According to Paytm, Shifu’s data and prediction tools for preferences and behavior will help it offer personalized services. As of now Shifu offers a ‘smart’ to do list manager app, with features like call forecast based on location, battery alerts, location based alerts, WiFi based alerts, missed call alerts and app suggestion. The app essentially picks up cues from user behaviour to make recommendations based on usage history, location etc., to display relevant apps, contacts and other information in the notification bar.

Shifu was founded by Prashant Singh, Deepansh Jain and Michael Massey back in June 2013, and was even recommended by Lifehacker the same year as the smartest to-do app around. However, post the acqui-hire, we expect the app won’t be supported anymore.

Near.in acquisition: Last month Paytm acquired Gurgaon-based services marketplace Near.in for $2 million. Near.in co-founders Lomesh Dutta and Suni Goyal would join Paytm as vice presidents, while Near.in’s early investors would exit the company. This was Paytm’s third investment in an online-to-offline service; it previously invested an undisclosed amount in the hyperlocal delivery and auto rickshaw hailing app Jugnoo in November, and had participated in a $50 million funding round for establishing an online to offline app-only marketplace called Little in July.

Other developments:

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– Last month, Paytm partnered with ICICI Bank to launch virtual prepaid cards, that could 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 September, the company was set to enter the hyperlocal services vertical, starting with food ordering, table bookings, cinema tickets and deals in the user’s neighbourhood. The same month, it raised an undisclosed amount in fresh funding from Alibaba and Ant Financial.

– In August, Paytm claimed that it crossed 100 million users and was carrying out 75 million transactions every month.

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