Though Flipkart is still recognized as the leading e-commerce marketplace, Paytm is playing catch up really well. Since inception, it has pivoted from just being a digital payment solution, to a full-fledged marketplace with a multitude of services — one of them being travel bookings.
Alibaba-backed Paytm has today announced the milestones achieved by its ‘travel marketplace’ in just the month of August and they’re unbelievably bold and show rapid acceleration in business. It is also due to the same reason that the company is pumping an additional $45 million(it has recently secured from MediaTek) into its flight booking business. This investment will be used in marketing and scaling the flight business, in order to focus on inducing high value repeat transactions.
The travel booking business of the company includes bus, train, hotels and domestic flight booking services, provided through trusted third-party travel services. And now Paytm has reported that its bus ticketing business has recently turned break-even and the hotel bookings business is also expected to turn profitable in the coming two months.
The flight booking business, which was silently pushed out via toast notification pop-ups in May, has also been organically scaling at a 4x month-on-month growth since its launch. Paytm expects to move forward with the same drive and create a cashless travel ecosystem for its 130 million strong and growing user base. It also plans to debut a diverse set of new categories and ancillaries at the most competitive prices(using humongous cashback offers).
Commenting on the same, Abhishek Rajan, Vice President of Paytm, says ,
At Paytm, we are building India’s largest travel marketplace with the mission to solve every need of a traveller – be it transport, accommodation, activities or ancillaries. We have seen exponential growth in all categories and will soon offer new services to our customers.
He further adds that the company plans to hog a significant chunk of India’s online travel booking pie by introducing new customers from tier II, III cities to this category. It has also setup a 100 member strong team in its Bengaluru office to drive further innovation in this particular category. This could one important step that moves them close to the vision of making cashless transactions a part of daily life.
In addition to Paytm, Freecharge has recently also ventured into the flight booking business with support from travel platform ClearTrip. It is allowing users to easily fast-forward their payment and book flight tickets, train tickets and make hotel reservations using FreeCharge Wallet within just ten seconds. And they’re boasting about it as if it isn’t possible on Paytm. You can also fast-forward your transactions on the latter, and pay directly from the wallet.