Paytm to be majority shareholder in Nearbuy-Little merger entity

Little and Nearbuy merge operations, Paytm becomes majority shareholder

Deals platforms Nearbuy, Little Internet merge operations

Deals and discovery platforms Little and Nearbuy.com have merged to create India's largest deals and discovery platform for local merchants. At the same time, Paytm will serve its large consumer base by showcasing a bigger number of exciting deals on its platforms.

"The merger of the 2 of India's leading deals platforms in the country and the partnership with Paytm will help merchants and customers, bring business synergies and will further strengthen Paytm's presence in the O2O space in India", Manish Chopra said. Paytm was an existing investor in Little.

Speaking on the acquisition, Paytem founder and CEO, Vijay Shekhar Sharma said, "This combination of Nearbuy and Little marks a great opportunity for us to reinforce our commitment to support small and large retailers in the new age of mobile commerce and payments". "The combined entity will continue to enable customers to discover deals and save money whenever they step out, and also help merchants effectively utilize their inventory and acquire new customers", Paytm said in a statement.

According to the sources aware of the development, the combined entity has been valued at around $100 million, after the fund infusion of $25 million from Paytm.

Paytm will hold around 50% in the merger. Little, founded in 2015, now operates in 17 cities and offers an array of deals via its website and mobile app.

Nearbuy, whose founder Ankur Warikoo would be heading the joint entity, is known for its discount coupons both at the merchant site as well as those offered through tie-ups with credit and debit card companies. Paytm, which was an investor in Little, declined to comment on the matter.

This transaction comes as Paytm looks to boost its position in the offline space allowing its merchants to have the option of acquiring more customers by offering deals and discounts. The integration of the platform should take about a month or two.

Paytm's goal is to equip its five million merchants tools to expand their business.

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