Mobile travel search marketplace ixigo has acquired all intellectual property of The Indian Backpacker, a community for budget travelers and backpackers, for an undisclosed amount.
According to YourStory’s sources, the ticket size involved in the acquisition is low and it looks more like an acquihire than an acquisition.
Following the deal, Akshay Chhugani, Founder & CEO of The Indian Backpacker, will also be joining ixigo. At ixigo, he will be responsible to build and nurture curated communities of travelers across interest areas.
“As a part of ixigo’s vision to simplify the lives of Indian travelers, we want to build a strong connection with communities of travelers who possess a shared passion, purpose or taste,” says Aloke Bajpai, Co-Founder & CEO of ixigo.
The Indian Backpacker was started in 2006 as a blog and later morphed into a platform to guide and give accurate and updated information to domestic and foreign backpackers.
Launched in 2007 by Aloke Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar, ixigo claims to connect over 60 million travelers with content and deals from over 25,000 online & offline travel and hospitality businesses.
Commenting on the deal, Akshay says,
ixigo has emerged as the most innovative aggregator in the Indian travel space with the smartest apps for budget travelers and an organically grown & loyal user base. We look forward to building an authentic Indian traveler community and curate deep knowledge of offbeat destinations and niche travel experiences.
He adds that there is a clear opportunity to build a community platform that enhances engagement and provides authentic and unbiased curated content for Indian travelers.
Earlier in June this year, the company received investment from Micromax; and claims to look to grow five-fold to reach over 30 million monthly active mobile users by the end of 2016.
As we said the deal looks more like acqui-hire than acquisition. With The Indian Backpacker in its kitty, ixigo will be able to equip travelers with better bagpacking aspects like destinations, basic know-how, suggestion among others. The acquiree also provides info like visa and basic guidance to outlandish backpackers.
As of now, most of ixigo's revenue comes from meta search segment, however the SAIF Partners funded company is betting big around mobile, information and tending to become a horizontal solution for travelers. It had launched PNR confirmation predictions feature last month and integrated cab and bus booking facility in the past.
With over five million app downloads - ixigo aims to provide relevant travel services to the next 300 million smartphone users. Currently, ixigo’s 80 percent travel and transportation queries and 50 percent of its transactions come from mobile. Going forward, it would be interesting to see how ixigo and other horizontal travel marketplaces evolve this year.
(With inputs from Jai Vardhan)