On Paytm, you can shop, transfer money between wallets or from wallet-to-bank, pay for your cab, autorickshaw or even Uber ride and now you can also book and pay for your bus ticket. Paytm, the Indian mobile marketplace giant, announced yesterday (July 2) on its blog that it has just launched its new Bus Ticket Marketplace. According to Business Standard, Paytm has partnered with four travel aggregators to cover a wide range of bus routes.
Paytm Founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma said, “The online travel category in India was estimated to be worth over $8 billion in 2014. We want to tap into this potential to give an enhanced experience to our users while booking their bus tickets. Going forward, we also plan to start signing up hotels and travel agents on the platform.”
Launched in 2010, Paytm is one of the fastest growing Indian eCommerce shopping websites. In April, Paytm passed 50 million mobile wallets (up from 20 million in January) and is expected to hit 100 million this year, according to Livemint. Its current customers include taxi-hailing service Uber, travel portal Expedia and the apartment rental site Airbnb.
Paytm must be doing something right. Alibaba is discussing this week (June 30) a possible investment in the Indian mobile marketplace, Reuters reported. The amount would be around $600 million, according to undisclosed sources. Alibaba would then own around 40 percent of the Indian payments company, which would be valued at around $4 billion. Alibaba already invested around $575 million in Paytm parent company One97 Communications by acquiring a 25 percent stake in it in February.
Sharma said in a recent interview with Business Line that his goal is to make Paytm a $100 billion company before Flipkart and Snapdeal. Paytm currently has 30,000 sellers (Flipkart has 27,000 sellers) but wants 100,000 by the end of the year. To continue its growth, Business Line reports, Sharma has strengthened Paytm’s team with three high-profile appointments to its board — Ruchi Sanghvi, the first woman engineer at Facebook, WhatsApp Global Business Head Neeraj Arora and InMobi Founder Naveen Tewari.