Paytm picks up majority stake in Nearbuy-Little Internet combine
Merged entity will create India’s largest discovery and deals platform for local merchants
Deals platforms Nearbuy and Little Internet have merged their operations, with Paytm picking up a majority stake in the combined entity, the financial services platform said on Thursday.
While the companies declined to offer details on the deal, multiple sources said Paytm has invested $25 million (over ₹161.45 crore), and will hold 51 per cent stake in the joint entity.
Sources said founders of Little, Manish Chopra and Satish Mani, will exit following the merger. The entities are expected to clock cumulative revenues of under $100 million by March 2018, they said.
The sources did not wish to be identified as the deal is private. Paytm, which was an investor in Little, also declined to comment on the matter.
“Paytm’s strategic holding in Nearbuy-Little will provide our merchant partners an opportunity to offer deals to acquire new customers and grow their business,” a company statement said.
The deal will create India’s largest discovery and deals platform for local merchants.
Existing shareholders of Nearbuy, including Sequoia India, will also have shares in the merged entity that will work with over 40,000 merchants across categories like food, beauty and travel.
Besides, Paytm will also showcase a large number of these deals on its platforms for consumers, at a later stage.
“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,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Paytm founder and CEO.
Paytm has been actively investing in various companies to beef up its online services offerings. In July, it had acquired stake in online ticketing and events platform Insider.in.
Formerly part of Groupon, Nearbuy parted from its parent in 2015. It was rebranded as Nearbuy after the promoters of the Indian arm and private equity investor Sequoia pumped in funds.
“Little Internet and Nearbuy combined will own 88 per cent of the market share,” said Nearbuy Chief Executive Ankur Warikoo said.
“By the end of 2018, we plan to be working with 100,000 merchants. There are around half a million merchants in the organised retail space, which we prefer to bring on our platform.”