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Business News/ Companies / Start-ups/  Paytm in talks to buy deals start-ups Nearbuy and Little
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Paytm in talks to buy deals start-ups Nearbuy and Little

The acquisition of deals start-ups Nearbuy and Little will allow Paytm to boost its presence in the hyperlocal space

Paytm in August acquired a majority stake in ticketing platform Insider.in to allow events on Insider.in to show up on Paytm. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/MintPremium
Paytm in August acquired a majority stake in ticketing platform Insider.in to allow events on Insider.in to show up on Paytm. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

New Delhi/Bengaluru: Paytm, operated by One97 Communications Pvt. Ltd, is in advanced talks to acquire two deals platforms, Nearbuy and Little, two people familiar with the development said.

The acquisitions of Nearbuy (formerly Groupon India) and Little Internet Pvt. Ltd, both of which offer discount deals at restaurants, salons and commercial establishments, will allow Paytm to boost its presence in the hyperlocal space.

Mint couldn’t ascertain the deal values being discussed but the people cited above said both deals may happen at distress prices.

Calls and text messages to Nearbuy chief executive Ankur Warikoo and Little app chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder Manish Chopra were not answered. Paytm did not respond to Mint’s email seeking comments.

In the past two years, Paytm has been in an hyper-expansion mode. From being a digital payments platform, the Alibaba-backed firm lets users book movies, make reservations for hotels and travel. Separately, Paytm’s e-commerce venture Paytm Mall is scaling up rapidly to take on Flipkart and Amazon.

Last month, Paytm acquired a majority stake in ticketing platform Insider.in to allow events on Insider.in to show up on Paytm.

Gurugram-headquartered Nearbuy, which broke away from its NASDAQ-listed parent Groupon Inc. in 2015, was scouting for fresh equity. Groupon Inc. had sold some of its majority stake in Nearbuy to Sequoia India—which spent $20 million for the acquisition—as part of an organizational re-shuffle. The firm was subsequently re-branded Nearbuy. In 2016, the firm raised $2.2 million in debt from Blacksoil Capital.

But both Nearbuy and its rival Little struggled to expand.

In July 2015, deals discovery app Little, which was started by the founders of fashion label Zovi, raised $50 million from Paytm, SAIF Partners and Tiger Global Management. It then set a target of generating annualized gross sales of $170 million but missed it by a big margin. SAIF Partners is also a large minority investor in Paytm.

Paytm, which launched its payments bank in May, raised a mammoth $1.4 billion in equity infusion from SoftBank Group Corp. in the same month. The round valued One97 Communications at $7 billion, Mint reported then.

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Published: 05 Sep 2017, 03:00 AM IST
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