Powered by One97 Communications Ltd., the online mobile wallet and E-commerce website Paytm has recently invested in AbhiBus, a bus ticketing service and ClearTax, an income tax filing website. According to the sources, the invested amount is not yet disclosed and no official announcement has been made.
AbhiBus is an online platform, founded back in 2007 for booking of bus tickets, that has become India’s fastest growing platform with over 1,500 operators and 15,000 routes running through the major cities like Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi, Bangalore etc. Today, AbhiBus is also the preferred Information Technology Partner for State Transport Corporations and Private Bus Fleet Operators. AbhiBus is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company.
AbhiBus had previously partnered with one of the Paytm’s rival JustRechargeIt.com which too provides the DTH, mobile and Data card recharges. The investment is quite interesting because the company Paytm had already been providing bus tickets booking. It is being assumed that the investment is related with a backward integration or even a possible acquisition in the future.
One of the major rival of AbhiBus.com is RedBus.in which was acquired by Naspers, a South African based multinational media group for $138 million in June 2013.
Another startup in which Paytm invested is ClearTax.in which is a Registered E-Return Intermediary, that lets its users to e-file their Income tax returns forms instead of filing them on incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. The startup was co-founded by the father-son duo of Archit and Raja Ram Gupta, along with Ankit Solanki and Srivatsan Chari.
Back in 2014, the startup had secured $120,000 in funding from Silicon Valley-based startup accelerator Y Combinator (YC). The startup also provides a Cloud platform for Charted Accountants, and tax professionals in India.
Paytm is facing direct competition from other e-commerce websites like Flipkart, Amazon.in, Snapdeal etc. which might be the reason that the company has evolved into mobile first marketplace with the Paytm wallet as its leading product. It has received a banking license from RBI and will soon launch financial services too. Clearly the company is now further evolving its service portfolio through the investments and acquisitions it is making.
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