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New Delhi: Digital payments company Paytm on Tuesday announced the acquisition of Delhi-based hotel booking platform NightStay for an undisclosed amount, foraying into the crowded hospitality segment.

Paytm (run by One 97 Communications Pvt Ltd) has earmarked 500 crore to invest in scaling operations in the hotel business and will look at expanding it's travel services portfolio, according to a company statement.

Paytm was in talks to acquire NightStay for an estimated $20 million, according to a Times of India report.

As part of the deal, Nasr Khan, founder and CEO of NightStay, will lead the hotel booking category at Paytm.

This is Paytm's second foray into the hotel business after it did not garner enough traction in the business in 2015 in comparison to its travel bookings vertical. In the first launch, Nitin Misra, vice-president at Paytm, headed the travel and booking business and now leads the lending and payments segment.

The company had previously partnered with budget and luxury hotel partners, including Treebo Hotel, Bloomrooms, Sarovar and Ginger Hotels, among others.

The hospitality industry includes players such as SoftBank backed Oyo, MakemyTrip and Yatra.com, among others.

Founded in 2014, NightStay offers bookings on luxury and boutique hotels on it's mobile application. The company raised $500,000 in seed funding from BedRock Ventures and angel investors till date, according to data from Crunchbase.

Paytm plans to leverage NightStay's acumen to expand it's portfolio in the vertical. It will have access to over 50,000 rooms and aims to increase it to 2 million hotels and accommodations globally.

"The launch of domestic hotel bookings is an important step forward as it help travellers around the country conveniently plan and book their perfect trip on Paytm. We want to offer the broadest travel selection on our platform, and look forward to continuing our expansion with the help of our trusted travel partners," according to Madhur Deora, chief financial officer at Paytm.

Paytm Travel, founded in 2014, sold over 60 million tickets last year. In May 2018, Paytm also acquired Chennai-based ticketing platform Ticketnew for a reported $40 million, signalling it's bullishness in the travel and booking segment.

Paytm recently entered the food delivery segment in partnership with food tech startup Zomato. The Noida-headquarted company is looking to capture the smaller markets through the online food ordering business.

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