Indian digital payments platform Paytm is making a
major investment to grow its travel business.
The company says it will invest INR 250 Cr, about
$35 million, over the next six months to scale up the product and technology
team, set up new business verticals and grow the market share of its existing
Paytm says its travel business, launched in 2016, has more than 15
million customers and gross market value of $1 billion.
The company reports sales of six million tickets every month
across flights, buses and trains, and it is aiming to double that business by the
end of March. Ninety percent of its bookings are made on its mobile app.
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“We continue to witness strong growth in tier two and three
cities, which accounts for over 65% of our new customers,” says Abhishek Rajan,
senior vice president at Paytm Travel.
“We have introduced a host of customer-friendly product features
on our app that have immensely simplified the travel booking experience and
effectively address the needs of the Indian traveler. Our users have saved more
than 60 crores from our free cancellation feature on flight and bus ticket
bookings. We are perhaps the only player in the travel industry that doesn’t
charge a fee for processing flight ticket cancellation requests. This is a
reflection of our strong customer-first philosophy.”
Paytm is owned by One97 Communications and, in addition to
travel, offers a wide range of products such as mobile phone recharge and bill
payment, utility payments, investments, entertainment, clothing, appliances and
in-store payments at grocery stores, restaurants and educational institutions.
Investors in Paytm include Softbank, SAIF Partners, Alibaba
Group and Ant Financial.