Digital payments compnay Paytm is increasing its reach in hotel booking. It has partnered with Amsterdam-headquartered Booking.com for international and domestic accommodations which will be listed on Paytm with promotions and offers. With this partnership, Booking.com will offer over 1.1 million accommodation options .
This will be part of Paytm’s travel marketplace where users can book hotels, flights, trains and bus tickets. In January 2017, Paytm claimed to have crossed $500 million in annualized GMV. In September, Paytm said it would invest Rs 300 crore to grow this business. The company added that it is looking to ramp up the travel marketplace team to over 250 people over the next two quarters.
Paytm added that it looking to take on online travel agents such as MakeMyTrip and Yatra. In the press release, it said that it is the first horizontal marketplace which entered the travel space and is looking to take on other players who cater exclusively to the travel vertical.
The company entered the travel business with the introduction of hotel booking in October 2015 with over 20,000 hotel listings initially. It eventually added bus and flight bookings last year.
Note parent company One97 Communications is demerging its e-commerce business from its wallet business. The wallet business was moved to the payments bank company in December. Last month, it was reported that the Alibaba Group would be investing $180-200 million in Paytm’s e-commerce arm.
In June 2016, the company said it was receiving 2 million e-commerce orders monthly and was expecting to grow to 5 million orders by March 2017. At the time, it claimed a GMV of Rs 20,000 crore, of which 40% came from the e-commerce marketplace.
Back in May 2016, CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, told the Economic Times that its marketplace was a byproduct of the payments business for the company. Sharma said that while other marketplaces used cash on delivery as a top feature, the company wanted to grow its payments system. He added that Paytm would ‘always be a platform for SMEs (small and medium enterprises) to use its payments and financial services.’