Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma and SAIF Partners’ Alok Goel have joined the board of Little Internet Pvt Ltd which runs deal discovery platform Little as directors.
“Online-to-offline is a fantastic opportunity and Sharma’s expertise brings a lot of value to the team. Paytm will add great strength by helping us understand how to grow and build the Little brand most efficiently,” Manish Chopra, CEO of Little, told Techcircle.in.
In July, Little, founded by online fashion brand Zovi promoters Manish Chopra and Satish Mani, had raised $50 million from Paytm’s parent One97 Communications, SAIF Partners, Tiger Global Management and others.
As part of that transaction, Little was mandated to power the deals platform on Paytm.
“At Paytm, we are committed to build and partner every platform that will bring mobile commerce to masses in India. Little is one the key investments in that direction and will bring millions of hyperlocal deals to Paytm consumers right from their neighbourhood,” Vijay Shekhar Sharma, CEO & founder of Paytm had said then.
“We will synergise the country’s largest mobile wallet and the App offerings with a focus on creating online-to-offline models. From groceries to consumer electronics, we expect majority of transactions to be driven by hyperlocal commerce in the near future. I see this fitting in perfectly with Little and yearn to generate a lot of value for the customers,” Sharma said.
Alok Goel is partner at venture capital firm SAIF Partners.
The Little app offers deals related to offline merchants, such as restaurants, movies, hotels, salons, gyms, spas and others.
“Paytm will help Little acquire customers faster, sort out payment and the preference level, and we’re able to bring these differentiators,” Sharma said in a statement.
Paytm had earlier also joined hands with BookMyShow (movie tickets), Zomato (food delivery) and others to enable hyperlocal services for its users.
Little has been strengthening its management team in recent months. On October 8, Little appointed former AirAsia chief commercial officer Amisha Sethi as its chief marketing officer. Last month, Little had appointed Suraj Panigrahy as vice president of sales and merchant acquisition and Wishy Arora as vice president of products.
In October this year, Little had acquired Chandigarh-based curated deals marketplace Trideal for an undisclosed amount.
Currently, Little offers deals from over 5,000 merchants. The company hopes to have over 50,000 live deals across 11 cities on its app by March 2016. It is targetting a gross merchandise value (GMV) facilitation run rate of $170 million (over Rs 1,000 crore) by the end of the current year.