Indian e-commerce platform Paytm has acquired one-year old hyperlocal startup Near.in for about $ 2 million. Two of the three Near.in founders Lomesh Dutta and Sunil Goyal will join Paytm as vice-presidents.
Near.in was founded in July 2014 as a marketplace app for local service providers. It launched operations in Gurgaon in December 2014 with diverse set of local service professionals across home needs, health and wellness, events and skills covering over 100 needs.
With the acquisition, Paytm will be able to further strengthen its position in the crowded online space. Paytm, which started as a prepaid mobile recharge website has now become India’s largest mobile payment service platform. Its Paytm wallet service has become the preferred mode of payment across several consumer internet companies. Paytm, founded by Vijay Shekhar Sharma, includes among its investors Ant Financial, SAIF Partners, Silicon Valley Bank and Alibaba Group. Leading industrialist Ratan Tata also made a personal investment in the company in March 2015.