The recent acquisition of the e-commerce platform Bitsila by Pai Platforms (formerly known as Paytm E-commerce) has reportedly sparked discussions among participants in the government-backed Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC). According to Economic Times, Bitsila, based in Bengaluru, holds the position of the third-largest seller-side platform in terms of transactions on ONDC.The company’s role in ONDC as a seller-side app is B2B as it helps onboard small merchants to the network.
Pai Platforms already boasts a significant presence as one of the largest buyer apps within ONDC. However, with the acquisition of Bitsila, it will now extend its reach to the seller apps side as well. Some network participants have expressed concerns about this development.
What is making seller apps anxious
Seller apps primarily onboard merchants, while buyer apps serve as customer-facing platforms where users can place orders. Girish Pai, CEO of the seller app GrowthFalcons, told ET that the entry of a buyer app into the seller domain raises valid concerns. He emphasizes the need to enhance seller engagement and find a niche in this evolving landscape.
Similarly, Sameer Sharma, CEO of UEngage (which assists restaurants in saving aggregator commissions), said that Paytm’s acquisition of Bitsila may lead to merchants benefiting more from ONDC if onboarded via the Bitsila seller app. However, he also highlights a potential issue: Magicpin, another player in the market, currently operates on both the buyer and seller sides. With Paytm’s dual presence post-acquisition, challenges may arise.
What ONDC CEO said
Despite these concerns, both ONDC and sources within Pai Platforms maintain that there is no cause for alarm. They emphasize their commitment to addressing challenges, including the scarcity of suppliers. Pai Platforms, now the third-largest seller app on ONDC, actively works to enhance the supplier base, aiming to provide benefits across the platform.
ONDC chief executive T Koshy told ET that concerns about the network becoming monolithic on the buyer and the seller side because of the same players operating on both sides were unfounded.
People are increasingly getting influenced by what he called “a platform strategy”. “Platforms which have end-to-end control are successful. It is not possible for one entity to have expertise in everything,” he said.
The situation remains dynamic, and the integration of Bitsila into Pai Platforms will undoubtedly shape the future of e-commerce within ONDC. As the landscape evolves, finding a balance between buyer and seller interests will be crucial for sustainable growth.

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