BENGALURU: Paytm is taking early steps to expand into the online content business as it sets up a new company focused on gaming. The development comes at a time when Paytm’s investor Alibaba is expected to close investments in multiple mobile gaming distributors globally. The new entity, which will be a joint venture (JV) between one of Alibaba’s gaming associates to form this company in India. People aware of the plans said an initial investment of about $25 million is likely to come in while more capital may be pumped in depending on the initial results of the venture.
Paytm has also started offering aggregated content around games, news feeds, music and entertainment video taking on the likes of Reliance Jio.
One of the people directly aware of company’s plan said the latest diversification for Paytm is an attempt to replicate Alibaba’s moves. “The discussions have been taking place for some time now and the new venture should be unveiled in the coming weeks. While payments are core to Paytm, the company wants to have additional products to increase user engagement and scale up the content business,” the person said.
According to reports internationally, Alibaba’s investments in gaming and the broader content business are aimed at China and other major markets of the e-commerce giant.
When contacted, a Paytm spokesperson declined to comment on the matter while an email sent to an Alibaba spokesperson did not elicit a response till the time of going to press.
Sources said the content business will also help Paytm get to the 500 million users mark by 2020. Post the recent $1.4 billion fund raise from SoftBank, Paytm has had an aggressive investment plan across new businesses. The online gaming industry alone in India is expected to be come $1billion in size by 2021 from close to $300 million, as per a study by Google-KPMG.
Internal discussions in Paytm have revolved around content which is one of the top focus in the long term.”Some of the content related play is live on the app and multiple things like e-sports league are planned. However, the focus for now will be to build the gaming business first even though both Alibaba and Paytm have broader plans for online content play in future,” the person quoted earlier in the report said.
Backs loyalty platform firm MobiQuest
Paytm has invested in Mobiquest Mobile Technologies, a Noida-based startup that helps brands and retailers manage their marketing campaigns based on data analytics. The company’s M loyal platform, at present, serves over 200 brands, as per a prepared statement by the company Monday.Mobiquest works with brands across segments such as retail, food and beverage, fashion, malls, health and wellness among others. The investment will help merchants on Paytm use Mobiquest’s expertise for enhanced return on investment on their marketing dollars and other initiatives to boost sales.
Source: Gadgets Now