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

Paytm forays into hotel booking business with acquisition of NightStay
Atom Hospitality Thursday, January 31, 2019 - 11:22
Written by  S. Mahadevan

Paytm’s forays into new business verticals continues with the company entering the hotel room booking space and says it already has an inventory of 50,000 daily room nights, thanks to the acquisition of NightStay, a startup in the same space.

NightStay’s USP is it offers last-minute bookings in the luxury-segment hotels at discounts. This startup will now function within the Paytm app and the founder of NightStay will lead the operations. Economic Times reports that Paytm is expected to make an investment of Rs 500 crore into this travel business and has set itself very ambitious targets for this vertical. There are more than 5,000 properties across the country that the company has identified and these include the luxury, budget and even the business class hotels. Some of these include hotel chains like Sarovar, Zuri, Treebo, Ginger, Sterling and Vresorts. Paytm says it has set its sights on taking the number of properties to two million by 2020.

On the acquisition of NightStay, it is learnt that the company paid around $20 million (around Rs 140 crore) for this takeover. Paytm already has its foot planted in related business selling 60 million tickets annually to customers for travel by air, bus and train. It has a division offering foreign exchange services too.

The NightStay model offering luxury hotel rooms from the unsold inventory for travelers looking for last minute accommodation could work well as a niche product, especially if the discounts on the rack rates are attractive. The company says it will deploy technology to the fullest in its efforts in building this hotel room booking business and hopes to be successful.

The largest in the business in India, OYO Rooms has grown rapidly and expanded to markets like China as well. With the funding by Alibaba, Paytm too wants to develop its travel portfolio.