ixigo is a prominent company in the Indian travel space that was founded by Aloke Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar back in 2006. The company has raised several funding rounds and has been able to scale well. Based out of Gurgaon, ixigo claims to be the first travel company in India to build apps for iOS and Android back in 2010-11. The company has 6 apps under it's belt at the moment and we got in touch with CTO and co-founder Rajnish Kumar to learn more.
First, here is the list of all apps:
ixigo app - a mirror to ixigo website, this app allows travelers to find the best hotel and flight rates, destination travel guides, places to visit, trains and buses, etc. (The revamped app won the prestigious MOBBY’s Award 2013 for the best mobile travel app across platforms).
ixigo Trains – ixigo’s fastest growing app with more than 3 lac active users per week , 30 million active sessions and more than 1 million downloads this app simplifies Indian Railway train information search.
ixigo buses – helps find deluxe buses, volvos, A/C coaches and inter-state road transport buses between any two Indian towns.
ixigo PNR status - enables automated management of all PNR related information for travelers for their flight and train tickets. (reads sms to automagically update the status and sends out useful alerts)
Road Trips/On the Way- helps find interesting and useful stoppage points including fuel stations, dhabas, chemists, ATMs during road trips
ixigo Goa Travel Guide - location-based app that helps travelers explore Goa.
YS: Tell us how the apps are doing. Which is the most popular one?RK: ixigo trains app is the most popular app from our suite. The app witnessed more than one million downloads in the first four months of its launch, and we continue to see more than 25000 downloads for this app every week.
The new revamped ixigo app is also extremely popular. Available for iOS and Android users, ixigo app is unique in its ability to compare information and prices from multiple travel sites, as well as show ratings and reviews aggregated from multiple hotel review websites. The app also features the semantic search functionality of ixigo’s website that intelligently deciphers natural language queries and answers them with a rich, useful mobile page as an output.
We believe in developing apps that are user friendly and address a user pain point. In that sense, our apps are unique, smart and sharp focused.
YS: Where are you seeing the downloads coming from?
RK: Our apps are downloaded by travelers from all walks of life, from people looking for easing their train and hotels serach to the ones planning and researching for specific destinations and POIs. Android being the most popular platform, most of our downloads are on the Android platform. However, iOS downloads are also picking up now. In terms of demographics, we see maximum downloads from big cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore while cities like Pune, Kolkata, Chennai are also not too far behind.
YS: What is the revenue model w.r.t apps?
RK: All ixigo apps are free for download from Google play store and the Android play store. Our aim is to get more and more people to use our apps and ease their travel planning and search. Right now monetization is not the goal.
YS Is there a dedicated team looking at mobile apps at ixigo? What is its size?
RK: All ixigo apps are created in-house by our tech team comprising 15 avid techies, and two in-house designers. I head the team.
YS: What's on the roadmap?
RK: We plan to continue to work on our existing apps and introducing new and useful features for our users through consumer research and analytics thereby making them indispensable for a traveler.
In this process, as and when we see an opportunity or a use case to launch a new app, we will continue to do so with the philosophy of easing the lives of travelers.
More about ixigo on their website.