Alibaba-backed Paytm is getting aggressive as far as expansion is concerned. After clinching a deal with Uber and IRCTC for railway ticket booking via its wallet, now the Noida-based company has launched a travel marketplace (starting with bus tickets).
The company has tied up with several travel aggregators to get almost all bus routes on its system, and has achieved 100% growth since its launch in February this year. Speaking to YourStory, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder and CEO, Paytm says,
Currently, we do 15K plus tickets on a daily basis. There have been several occasions when we crossed 30K tickets too.
The addition of this new vertical is a part of Paytm’s strategy to make a debut in new categories, including travel to grow its gross merchandise value to $3-4 billion by the end of 2015. At present, it does more than 80 million orders of various digital and physical goods every month. Vijay adds,
With this we have almost every bus available in Paytm with the exception of some state road transport corporations (some SRTCs are available via a rendering process).
Importantly, the company plans to start signing up hotels and travel agents on the platform very soon. Once the travel focused marketplace expands to encompass hotels and travel agents, the service providers will be able to put up their inventory using a DIY platform provided by Paytm.
The company will make revenue via commission. “We get paid on every bus ticket sold,” points out Vijay.
In April this year, Paytm had partnered IRCTC to offer its wallet for railway ticket booking and aspires to process payment for about 25,000 plus tickets in a day by November this year. On the lines of Alibaba-backed Taobao, Paytm moved to zero commission model. Taobao is a Chinese marketplace that works on the zero commission marketplace.
The company also entered into the hyperlocal space and invested in Chandigarh-based hyperlocal delivery andauto-hailing startup Jugnoo.
The online travel category in India was estimated to be worth over $8 billion in 2014 and slated to grow exponentially. Paytm’s move to go with travel focused marketplace makes a lot of sense given its overall reach (with handsome marketing budget) and 60 million plus wallet penetration.