With 4 Mn monthly transactions in travel ticketing, Paytm narrows gap with MakeMyTrip

Paytm

Paytm has been claiming high growth in travel ticketing vertical. The Noida-based company has sold out 38 million air, bus and rail ticket in FY18. Currently, it’s selling about 4 million tickets every month. The volume seems very close to country’s largest OTA – MakeMyTrip.

For comparison, the CTrip-backed public company had reported 13.2 million tickets (9 million bus ticket + 4.2 million air tickets) for the quarter ended December 31, 2017. Importantly, the above number for MakeMyTrip didn’t include train ticket transactions.

The Alibaba-funded Decacorn has also claimed that about 60 per cent growth hails from tier II and III cities. Notably, it hasn’t given separate numbers for bus, air and rail ticket verticals. Paytm eyes to reach 10 million ticket transaction mark by end of the current financial year.

Since payment process via IRCTC often sucks, many travelers use Paytm Wallet to book a train ticket. Given the high use case of wallet in booking the train ticket, a major chunk of above volume is likely to be driven by rail bound travelers.

Meanwhile, IRCTC is in the process to launch its own payment gateway soon.

Despite its growth in overall travel vertical, Paytm had shutdown hotel vertical at the beginning of this year. Entrackr has exclusively reported that it had pulled the plug from hotel business.

Surprisingly, hotel aggregation is turning out to be bread and butter for OTAs. The segment considered as a mature category in online space with high margins (up to 20 per cent).

On movie and entertainment ticketing front, the digital payment major has claimed to sell massive 52 million tickets in 2017. With this, the company had recorded a little over 2X growth in the last calendar year over 26 million transactions in 2016.

Over the past six-eight months, online travel has been in limelight for various reasons including Flipkart entry into it. Last year, Oyo had switched from aggregation segment to a branded chain with the franchise model. Following the pivot, MakeMyTrip had broken up with Fabhotels and Treebo for bringing Oyo on its platform.

MakeMyTrip also had partnered with Flipkart for showcasing its inventory to the customers of Walmart-owned company. Given the monthly run rate of the transaction in travel segment, Paytm seems close to MakeMyTrip volume.

However, a large chunk of its volume is driven by discounts and cashback. Going forward, it would be exciting to watch how MMT and Paytm compete for winning more users.

The news was first reported by ET.

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