India’s Paytm acquires local hotel-booking platform NightStay


Paytm has launched hotel bookings on its platform and acquired NightStay, which offers deals on last-minute bookings at luxury hotels, as the Alibaba-backed payments and ecommerce company expands its travel business.

Paytm said it plans to invest Rs 500 crore in scaling up its travel operations and has partnered with more than 5,000 hotels across the budget, luxury and business segments.

Its hotel partners include chains like Sarovar, Zuri, Treebo, Indian Hotels Co’s Ginger, Sterling and Vresorts. The company said it aims to reach 2 million hotels and alternative accommodations globally and become Asia’s top hotel-booking destination by 2020.

As per previous reports, the company had been in talks to acquire NightStay for around $20 million (Rs 142 crore). NightStay aggregates unsold inventory across luxury and business hotels and offers last-minute concessional rates to customers. Paytm started its travel business in 2014 and claims to sell over 60 million tickets a year across rail, bus and flight bookings. Earlier this year, Paytm Travel also started offering foreign-exchange services to international travellers.

Nightstay founder Nasr Khan will lead the hotel-booking services at 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,” said Madhur Deora, chief financial officer at Paytm.

Paytm said customers could access more than 50,000 daily room nights in the hotel space on its platform and that it would work closely with partner hotels to build technology-driven solutions.

For financial year FY18, Paytm’s parent company, One 97 Communications, reported revenue of Rs 3,235 crore, a nearly fourfold jump from the year before, even as its loss jumped 69% to Rs 1,490 crore. Total expenses for the year were Rs 4,718 crore.

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