Paytm has announced that it has acquired hyperlocal deals marketplaces Little and Nearbuy with majority shares and will merge them into one entity to create discovery and deals platform. The company did not disclose financial details of the deal.
With this move, Paytm aims strengthen its presence in Online to offline (O2O) space in India. In total, Nearbuy and Little have around 40,000 merchants on their platform across food, beauty, travel and other categories.
Little is one of the Paytm’s investee companies. It was founded by Zovi founders Manish Chopra and Satish Mani in July 2015, and raised $50 million in funding from Paytm and others in the same month.
Little’s rival (before this development) was Nearbuy was founded as SoSasta, and was later acquired by NASDAQ-listed Groupon Inc. in 2011- and then named itself as Groupon India later. In August 2015 it rebranded itself from Groupon India to Nearbuy following Sequoia Capital’s investments in the company. Nearbuy’s existing investors including Sequoia India will continue to be shareholders of the merged entity, Paytm said in its statement.
Paytm’s O2O commerce focus
Note that Paytm had to spin off e-commerce business as a separate entity (Paytm Mall) and raised $200 million from Alibaba, and started building an offline presence through QR codes payments and at last count, it said that it had over 5 million merchants and it will be looking to leverage them for the O2O play. Paytm Mall is trying to build and offline-to-online business in a big way like Alibaba.
In August, the company said that Paytm Mall is investing $5 million to get on board 50,000 offline sellers via programme called Retailer Inclusion Programme “which will address support and empower these shopkeepers to challenge large monolithic online retailers.”
In O2O space, Paytm competes with the likes of JustDial, CouponDunia.
While JustDial is leveraging their listings business and built e-commerce capabilities, Times Internet owned CouponDunia has an in-store, hyperlocal couponing system where users would be able to buy items in offline stores using CouponDunia’s coupons in categories.