Alibaba-backed digital wallet company Paytm has tied up with US-based online travel portal Priceline Group’s Booking.com, to facilitate accommodation bookings on its platform.
Under the partnership, accommodation aggregator Booking.com’s assortment of over 1.1 million domestic and international accommodations will be offered to Paytm’s 200 million wallet user base, the company said in a statement.
Abhishek Rajan, vice president, Paytm said: “Our partnership with Booking.com will help us offer our customers the choice to book from over a million accommodation options across the world at the most attractive prices.”
Noida-based One97 Communications Ltd, which runs Paytm, has announced that it will invest Rs 300 crore to further grow this business. It is also looking to ramp up its Bengaluru-based travel marketplace team to over 250 people in the next two quarters. It has rented an additional 150-seater office space in co-working space Innov8 in Koramangala, Bangalore.
Founder and CEO of Paytm Vijay Shekhar Sharma is an investor in Innov8. Last month, the co-working space had raised angel funding from Venture Catalysts and individual investors, including Sharma, Google’s Rajan Anandan and others, through the LetsVenture platform.
Paytm’s travel marketplace enables users to book hotels, flights, trains and bus tickets on a fast, secure and convenient platform.
As part of its expansion plans, Paytm had recently entered the foreign market with its mobile payments services in Canada.
About 47 employees at Paytm have sold their shares worth Rs 100 crore ($15.3 million) to internal and external buyers. The deal has increased the shareholding of Paytm’s founders and investors in the firm. Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group, its payments arm Ant Financial, Paytm’s early investor SAIF Partners, and Sharma, collectively own about 95% stake in the company.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Paytm E-Commerce Pvt. Ltd, the online marketplace arm of One97 Communications, will raise $200 million (Rs 1,334 crore) led by Alibaba. While the Chinese e-commerce major will infuse $177 million (Rs 1,182 crore) in the company, venture capital firm SAIF Partners will invest the remaining. The deal is expected to value Paytm E-Commerce at $1 billion. One97 Communications was valued at $4.8 billion when it raised $60 million (Rs 403 crore then) from Taiwanese chipmaker MediaTek Inc’s Mountain Capital fund in August 2016.
Booking.com has launched a new accelerator initiative, the Booking Booster Programme, for startups in the tourism segment. The programme identifies, supports, mentors and funds emerging firms from across the world dedicated to creating sustainable tourism.
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