Micromax-funded ixigo, a travel search marketplace, has launched a new meta-search across curated budget hotels on its website. The platform’s curated collection of 2500 budget hotels across 80 cities in India claims to have affordable room-rates ranging from Rs 599 to Rs 2499.
This new meta-search compares deals across branded budget hotel providers such as Oyo rooms, Wudstay, Zo Rooms, Vista Rooms as well as independent hotels in popular locations in all the major cities of India. It says that it also searched the cheapest rates across 20+ hotel booking websites for India, allowing travelers to find the best rates across websites such as Booking.com, Makemytrip.com, Hotels.com, Goibibo.com, and Agoda.com. Travelers can also compare hotels in a tabular manner across their prices, ratings, reviews, and amenities.
“We are making the lives of travelers simpler by narrowing down to the best budget hotels in India from among the 12,000 in our database. Our team has also visited many of our chosen 2500 hotels personally to ensure that only the best ones earn the ‘super value’ tag. These accommodations provide great value for money and hence we recommend them for price-conscious travelers. We will be rolling out super value hotels on our apps very soon, and will also double the number of cities and super value hotels we cover by December,” Aloke Bajpai, Co-Founder and CEO, ixigo.
Launched in 2006 in Gurgaon by Aloke Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar, ixigo has witnessed many developments in the recent past -- from introducing new features on its platform to some acqui-hires to full acquisition.
During June 2015, Micromax announced a strategic investment in ixigo. Besides, the platform itself has some acquisition in the recent time. In August this year, ixigo acquired all intellectual property of The Indian Backpacker, a community for budget travelers and backpackers, for an undisclosed amount. During the same month, it acqui-hired Gurgaon-based Square Hoot Hikes, the parent company of Rutogo, an inter-city cabs aggregator, for an undisclosed amount.
The platform claims to connect over 60 million travellers with content and deals from over 25,000 online and offline travel & hospitality businesses. ixigo also aggregates and compares real-time travel information, prices, availability for flights, trains, buses, cabs, hotels, packages, and destinations.
Budget accommodation has been a hot segment for a while. Google estimates the online hotel booking market in India will be $1.8 billion by 2016, up from $0.8 billion in 2014. Besides pure-play budget hotel focused startups, OTAs also sensed scalable opportunity. Consequently, in the last six weeks OTAs had stopped listing Oyo, Zo Rooms, Wudstays, and others as they launched their own branded budget hotel platforms.
Since OTAs don’t carry inventory of aforementioned companies, metasearch doesn’t seem to be strong value proposition to Oyo, Zo Rooms and others. For them, ixigo is a lead generation engine like Justdial. Metasearch has been a core business for ixigo and with features like cheapest quote it can be a decent addition for ixigo’s users.
(With inputs from Jai Vardhan)