Paytm, currently the leading online wallet service provider, is now looking to strengthen its offline retailer network. In line to this, the company today announced that it has acquired Delhi-based Shopsity.
The acquisition of Shopsity reportedly happened after the startup decided to shut down its operations. It followed an online-to-offline (O2O) retail model and connected customers to fashion retailers in their vicinity. The company’s website and app are no longer live.
Since the announcement to demonetise old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes by the Indian government just two days back, the company’s wallet usage has increased by around 1, 000%. Hence, the company is now working towards strengthening its network of offline retailers who accept payments via Paytm.
Shopsity is focused on small and unorganized retailers. It provides them with tools to attract and retain customers. As a part of the acquisition deal, co-founders Danish Ahmed and Gaurav Arya have joined Paytm’s management team and are actively working to strengthen seller services for the company.
Commenting on this, Madhur Deora, Chief Financial Officer at Paytm said,
Shopsity has done a great job at providing innovative solutions to small offline retailers. By integrating their technology with our advanced seller services, we will be able to offer additional solutions to our fast-growing family of small offline merchants. We would like to welcome Danish and Gaurav to Paytm and our offline merchants team. I am confident this acquisition will offer further momentum to our online-to-offline commerce segment.
Danish Ahmed, co-founder at Shopsity said,
Paytm is doing phenomenal stuff in the offline commerce space, and we are very excited to join the team and build a platform that enables small retailers to ride the digital wave. Millions of retailers are using Paytm to accept payments today, and we’re working hard to bring an entire suite of digital services to them.
Reports further suggest that Paytm is planning to hire 10,000 ground workers to aggressively expand its offline merchant network to 20 lakh by the end of the current fiscal year. The target has been increased from the initial 16 lakh after the recent boost in its business.
Paytm, which currently has a user base of more than 150 million, is on a mission to bring Indians on its mobile payments and commerce platform. The company is also soon going to launch its own payment banking service.
While it was operational, Shopsity had raised seed funding from Sandeep Aggarwal, founder and former CEO of ShopClues and Teruhide Sato, founder of Netprice (now Beenos), a global Internet and e-commerce business incubator.
In order to expand its operations to other cities, the startup was said to be looking to raise next round of funding. Some reports suggest that the company was planning to raise $3 million in Series A round of funding and had also initiated talks with potential investors. But, as luck has it, the company was instead snapped up by the largest digital wallet service in the country.