Alibaba-Backed Paytm Goes Hyperlocal For Services

India-based Paytm, an Alibaba-backed mobile payments and eCommerce company, has announced plans to enter the “hyperlocal” market, focusing on local deals, food ordering, table reservations and movie tickets.

“Hyperlocal commerce is the proverbial ‘next big thing’ in mCommerce. It perfectly blends the convenience of buying from vendors in the vicinity and the ease of virtual retail,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder and CEO of Paytm.

Paytm, which has partnered with companies like Zomato for food services and BookMyShow for events and movie tickets, is betting big on the hyperlocal market — out of which it hopes to derive about half of its revenue by 2016.

“From groceries to consumer electronics, we expect [the] majority of transactions to be driven by hyperlocal commerce in the near future,” Sharma said. “To tap into this extremely promising market, we are all set to launch our hyperlocal business.”

With the partnerships in place, Paytm will be able to integrate its hyperlocal services into its signature Paytm wallet app.

Its digital wallet service reportedly has over 100 million users that log over 75 million transactions every month. Paytm’s popularity in the Indian market caught the attention of Alibaba’s investment arm, Ant Financial, which led to two Alibaba-backed investment rounds, pushing its valuation well over a $1 billion.

The Noida, India-based company also recently launched its own payments bank called Paytm Payment Bank Ltd. With its new banking services license, the company can facilitate money transfer services, like Western Union, can issue debit cards and provide online banking services. However, according to the new mandate set by the Reserve Bank of India, Paytm wouldn’t be allowed to roll a credit line to its customers or extend loans of any kind.

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