Paytm, the Indian electronic payment and e-commerce brand have a come a very long way since its inception in 2010. Starting out as a mobile recharge and bill payments platform, it has made huge strides to secure a dominant role in the online marketing space, boosted by the Digital India program, but more importantly, by the mobile-phone wielding Indian who has taken to cashless transactions like fish to water, is no longer a novice at spending money digitally for day-to-day commodities and absolutely loves indulging in a good deal while out on the town.
After making remarkable efforts to expand their online business this year alone by launching the Paytm Mall- a virtual marketplace, a major stake in Insider.in- an event-booking platform, and so on, Paytm is now looking to make its presence known in the offline space too. They have a majority holding in the merger of Nearbuy and Little, two hyper-local online platforms that introduce customers to deals from local merchants across various lifestyle categories including F&B, travel, wellness, fashion, etc.
Nearbuy, coincidently also founded in 2010, has undergone several changes in names and majority stakeholders, starting as SoSasta.com, then Groupon India and finally as Nearbuy in 2015 with Ankur Warikoo as the CEO.
Little, founded in 2015, is comparatively new and has a shorter history. It was created by Manish Chopra and Satish Mani, also the founders of Zovi, an affordable fashion brand. Paytm was one of the initial investors of Little along with a couple other participants.
Nearbuy and Little work in tandem with 40k small and large merchants and their merger backed by the expertise and colossal user base of Paytm, is set to become the largest discovery and deals platform for offline merchants.
Founder & CEO of Paytm, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, said, “This combination of Nearbuy and Little marks a great opportunity for us to reinforce our commitment to support small and large retailers in the new age of mobile commerce and Payments. I am sure consumers will love the greater selection and reach of everyday deals and discount offers.”
This integration is certain to increase Paytm’s occupancy of the O2O (Online to Offline) space in India, while also bringing a wider range of clientele to their merchant partners, better deals to their customers as well as easy mobile payments for all their purchases- an indigenous facility provided by Paytm since its initiation.
The O2O field is only beginning to reveal its potential and things are already looking quite gainful for consumers, which is likely to translate into large profits for e-commerce platforms.
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