Paytm’s Bitsila Acquisition: Salvation or Risk?

In a strategic move amidst regulatory uncertainties, Paytm is reportedly finalizing a deal to acquire Bitsila, an interoperable e-commerce startup, sources reveal. This acquisition aims to bolster Paytm’s position within the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) ecosystem, offering a potential revival path amidst challenging times.

Bitsila, based in Bengaluru, currently stands as the third-largest seller-side platform on ONDC, facilitating numerous transactions. According to insiders, the acquisition deal is nearing completion and is expected to close within the upcoming week. While specifics regarding the deal size and structure remain unconfirmed, sources suggest its significance for Paytm’s expansion strategy.

Founded by Dasharatham Bitla and Sooryah Pokkali in 2020, Bitsila has garnered attention with its role as a seller-side app on ONDC, catering primarily to small merchants. With a pre-seed round backed by Antler India and Redbus founder Phanindra Sama, Bitsila brings valuable expertise and market presence to the table.

Paytm’s ONDC Strategy: Savior in Troubled Waters?

For Paytm, already entrenched as a buyer app within ONDC, the acquisition of Bitsila represents a strategic opportunity to diversify its offerings and extend its reach across the seller-side spectrum. This move aligns with the brand’s ambitious goal of onboarding 10 million merchants to ONDC by 2025, as articulated by founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma.

The decision to acquire Bitsila underscores Paytm’s commitment to harnessing the potential of ONDC as a transformative force in India’s e-commerce landscape. By leveraging the established infrastructure and expertise of Bitsila, Paytm aims to consolidate its position within ONDC, despite ongoing regulatory scrutiny and market challenges.

In response to inquiries, One97 Communications, the parent company of the brand, has denied rumors of the proposed acquisition, asserting that the news is misleading. However, industry insiders suggest otherwise, pointing to significant developments within the bran’s e-commerce arm, now rebranded as Pai Platforms.

As Paytm navigates regulatory headwinds and strives to revitalize its business amidst market turbulence, the acquisition of Bitsila emerges as a strategic pivot towards strengthening its foothold in the dynamic e-commerce landscape.

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