Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)
Alibaba-backed Paytm in ` 1,000-cr push for mobile commerce biz
THE E-TAILER PLANS TO BUILD A FULL-FLEDGED TRVAEL MARKETPLACE ON THE LINES OF ALITRIP, RUN BY ALIBABA
MUMBAI: Mobile payment and commerce company Paytm, backed by the world’s largest e-tailer, Alibaba Group, will invest `900-1,000 crore over the next 6-8 months, to boost margins in a sector dominated by the likes of Flipkart and Amazon.
“Our GMV (gross merchandise value) has increased from `2,500 crore in 2014 to around `9,500 crore now, and we hope to touch `10,000 crore by month-end,” Paytm CEO and founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma told HT.
GMV refers to the total amount of goods sold on a e-commerce company’s platform. E-commerce sites in India use the gross merchandise value (GMV) model for valuation, and do not give out their revenue model, which puts a question mark on their valuation.
While one can shop for apparels, home appliances, car accessories, toys and books, among other things on its platform, the company is aggressively looking to move beyond. It has started a bus ticket marketplace earlier this month, where it will compete with the likes of market leader redBus.
Paytm claims to be doing around 20,000 bus bookings daily on the platform, and plans to start airline and train ticket bookings in the next few months.
Next on cards is a marketplace where one can book hotels. It will partner with other online and offline travel firms as well as aggregators to offer the service.
While Sharma refused to divulge further details on the launch plans, sources said the hotel booking service could go live as early as next month.
Alibaba, through its arm Ant Financial Services, earlier this year entered into an agreement to pick up 25% stake in One97 Communications, Paytm’s parent.
From around 20 million mobile wallet users in 2014, Paytm now has 90 million users, Sharma said. It has 70,000 sellers on its platform.