Paytm acquires Shifu for $8 million

Paytm will be able to offer a highly intuitive and personalized experience to users by integrating Shifu’s technology and behavioural modelling


Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

New Delhi: Payments solutions provider Paytm, run by One97 Communications Pvt. Ltd, has acquired consumer behaviour prediction and recommendation platform Shifu for $8 million, the company said on Monday.

Delhi-based Shifu, run by Signal Inc., started operations in August 2012. It mines the smartphone usage patterns of users and makes personalised recommendations to them. The 20-member team at Shifu, including founders Prashant Singh, Deepansh Jain and Michael Massey, will join Paytm.

“Shifu has been quite popular as an intelligent task-managing application. By integrating their technology and behavioural modelling with Paytm app, we will be able to offer a highly intuitive and personalized experience to our users,” said Kiran Vasireddy, senior vice-president at Paytm. “This acquisition will give further impetus to our focus on Artificial intelligence…. By predicting user behaviour based on past usage, location and other data points, our platform will be able to offer relevant recommendations to our users.”

Shifu is a free task-managing app. Once the app is installed, it analyses the usage patterns of the device owner and makes a variety of suggestions based on a predictive algorithm.

Paytm has been actively investing in start-ups. The company in October invested in transportation app Jugnoo, in hyperlocal deals platform Little in July, and in logistics start-up LogiNext.

Noida-based Paytm currently has a user base of more than 100 million. The company is backed by investors, including Alibaba Group, Saif Partners, Sapphire Venture and Silicon Valley Bank. Paytm, which started out as a payments solution provider, ventured into e-commerce in May 2014.

In November, Paytm acquired home service marketplace Near.in for an undisclosed amount to focus on online-to-offline (O2O) and hyperlocal commerce.

One97 was founded by Vijay Shekhar Sharma, who is among the 11 recipients of a payment bank licence from the Reserve Bank of India.

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