Paytm, the payment aggregator, has decided to expand its online travel business aggressively by branching out into rail, road, airline and tour bookings as it looks forward to drive more traffic to its portal that is largely payment driven.
For hotel and bookings, it has already partnered with services marketplace Ezeego 1 and is also in talks with several airlines. It is also in the process of integrating the rail inventory of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation on its platform.
Paytm is planning to invest around Rs 120 crore on its travel marketplace in the current financial year.
A horizontal player in the e-commerce space offers multiple shopping categories such as books, apparel, appliances and more on a single platform whereas, a vertical player specialises in one kind of offering.
Paytm is headquartered in NOIDA. The site was launched in 2010 in India and is owned by One97 Communications. The firm started by offering mobile recharging, adding bill payment and e-commerce with products similar to businesses such as Flipkart, Amazon and Snapdeal.
In 2014, the company launched Paytm Wallet, now India’s largest mobile payment service platform with over 100 million wallets & 10 million app downloads.
In 2015, it added booking bus travel. Paytm also launched movie ticket booking in early 2016.
In March 2015, industrialist Ratan Tata made a personal investment in the firm. The same month, the company received a $575 million investment from Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group after Ant Financial Services Group, an Alibaba Group affiliate, took 25 per cent stake in One97 as part of a strategic agreement.