Mobile internet firm One97 Communications earmarks around $25M for two tech acquisitions

Noida-headquartered One97 Communications Ltd, that runs digital goods and services marketplace Paytm, has set apart Rs 150 crore ($25.6 million) to fund acquisitions of at least two consumer facing technology companies, according to a report in The Economic Times citing Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and chief executive, One97.

The acquisitions will help the company grow Paytm, which had launched its mobile marketplace earlier this year.

"We want to accelerate the pace of our offering here. I'm looking to acquire for talent and hoping to close at least two deals. We are going to tell startups in mobile technology space we will add their product or identify uses for it, that is our acquisition strategy," Sharma told the newspaper.

Early this year, One97 had announced that it is launching a semi-closed wallet, post securing a licence from RBI. This will also allow consumers to use the new wallet across several online merchants. It had also made a low key entry in the digital gaming market via GamePind under Paytm Games. The store was launched in India, Dubai and Bangladesh.

According to a SAP study, consumers in India are leading the demand for m-commerce services, with 97 per cent of them asking for more mobile interactions with banks, telcos, retailers, utilities and other businesses, and One97 is looking to tap into this opportunity.

Paytm will compete with apps of various online marketplace ventures, including Flipkart, Amazon, eBay, Snapdeal and so on. As such, it would be a play on execution while tapping on to the existing users of its recharge and bus ticketing site.

One97 Communications had raised third-round funding of $10 million from SAP Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of the software-maker SAP AG around three years ago. This came after the firm dropped its plans for an IPO due to volatile markets.

The company had earlier raised funding from investors like SAIF Partners, Intel Capital and Silicon Valley Bank.

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