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Sharma-backed Paytm Ecommerce acquires ONDC seller firm Bitsila days after RBI hit Paytm Payments Bank

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Jaya Vishwakarma
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Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma

Vijay Shekhar Sharma-backed Paytm Ecommerce has reportedly acquired Bitsila, a key player in the government-backed Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC).

Bitsila, known for its interoperable e-commerce solutions, ranks as the third largest seller platform on ONDC, has partnerships with major brands like McDonald's and BigBasket.

The PTI report claims that the acquisition marks a pivotal moment for Paytm E-commerce, which is now operating under the name Pai Platforms, as it aims to bolster its presence in the digital commerce space.

However, Paytm has denied the media reports, labelling the report as "entirely misleading." 

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Besides Sharma, Paytm Ecommerce is backed by notable investors, including Elevation Capital, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Softbank, and eBay,

Deepening ONDC integration

Founded in 2020 by Dasharatham Bitla and Sooryah Pokkali, The acquisition of Bengaluru-based Bitsila is seen as a strategic move to deepen Paytm's integration with ONDC, the report said.

It's worth mentioning that Paytm, which is already a buyer app on ONDC, plans to leverage Bitsila's technology to onboard small merchants and expand its seller-side capabilities. This could enhance Paytm's e-commerce offerings and provide a more comprehensive service to its users.

Acquisition amid challenges

The report comes more than a week after the Reserve Bank of India hit Paytm Payments Bank, which halted the company from accepting new deposits due to compliance issues. 

However, the RBI clarified that this action does not affect the Paytm app, ensuring that Paytm's services remain operational. Paytm has also reassured its users and merchant partners that its payment solutions, including QR, Soundbox, and card machines, will continue to function as usual.

Onboarding 10 million merchants

Earlier in December last year, Paytm's chief Vijay Shekhar Sharma said the company is committed to onboard 10 million merchants to ONDC by the end of 2025.

"Commerce is a natural extension for us. We are committing to sign up at least 10 million merchants on ONDC before 2025 ends," he said at an ONDC hackathon in Delhi last year.

Sharma also said that Paytm has already enabled 11.8 million users to shop on ONDC.

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