On the lines of automobile classifieds, horizontal online travel segment seems to be back in action. After publicly traded OTA MakeMyTrip, Gurgaon based ibibo has announced that South African media conglomerate will be investing $250 million in the company. ibibo is backed by Chinese internet group Tencent and Naspers jointly. The funds will be deployed towards bringing more affordable accommodation, developing robust mobile infrastructure and driving product innovation.
Host of companies under ibibo’s portfolio including goibibo, redBus and GoStays will benefit from the investment. Importantly, Naspers is the biggest stakeholder in the company.
Last month, China based full stack travel and transportation platform Ctrip agreed to pump in $180 million in MakeMyTrip.
ibibo claims to outnumber nearest competitor by 2.5X in terms of transaction volume. It processed over 6.5 million transactions the period between October to December (Q3) 2015. ibibo also owns bus booking platform - redBus and budget accommodation brand GoStays.
goibibo hotel booking platform has about 45,000 hotels listed on the platform, and targets to onboard over 1,00,000 hotel across the country.
Naspers Group CEO, Bob van Dijk said,
The Indian ecommerce market, and the online travel segment in particular, offers exciting growth prospects for us as a group. With a talented, proven management team and exceptional technology, ibibo is well positioned to benefit from an increasing number of people using online travel services going forward.
With the emergence of new avenues like budget accommodation and experiential holidays, online travel is set to witness boom in coming years. Oyo’s scorching growth and aggressive strategy have forced all OTAs to revisit their future course. Besides budget accommodation, online travel majors see overall hotel industry as a massive opportunity and funding commitment to MakeMyTrip and ibibo display the increasing interest of investors in the space.
Similar to e-commerce battle, race to the travel e-commerce crown is intensifying. This round will undoubtedly equip ibibo to combat MakeMyTrip, ClearTrip, Yatra in horizontal space and Oyo in budget hotel accommodation. With two major players receiving over hundred million dollars in funding, they may also go for acquisition route to consolidate their presence in verticals like experiential holidays adventure experiences.
Watch Ashish Kashyap, founder, ibibo sharing some travel e-commerce trends