Digital payments company Paytm has entered into discussions to acquire online travel company Via.com which could potentially be valued at up to $80 million for the sale, as reported by ET. This acquisition will help Paytm to grow its travel and hospitality business, to compete against established firms such as the Nasdaq-listed MakeMyTrip and Yatra.

Paytm, which raised $1.4 billion from SoftBank in May, was recently in advanced discussions to acquire deals platforms Nearby and Little.

The Noida-headquartered company, Paytm's travel business crossed annualised gross merchandise volume (GMV), or gross sales, of $500 million in January, driven by bookings of two million tickets that month. The company has projected annualised GMV of $2 billion for its travel business by March.

Bengaluru-based Via.com (formerly known as FlightRaja) was founded in 2007. It is backed by venture capital investors including IndoUS Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital, has raised about $15 million in funding. Via.com has 100,000 active travel partners across 2,600 towns and cities, and covers more than 13,000 pin codes across Asia.

Paytm which has been in hyper-expansion mode in the last 12 months, counts Chinese ecommerce behemoth Alibaba Group and affiliates as well as SAIF Partners among its backers. Paytm E-commerce business, Paytm Mall had also initiated discussions to pick up a stake in online grocer BigBasket. According to media report, BigBasket has raised whopping $280 million in Series-E round led by Paytm Mall and China’s Alibaba Group recently.

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