ixigo, one of India’s leading travel-search marketplaces, announced that it has acqui-hired the team of mobile content sharing app 'Reach.' As part of the deal, the Reach team will be joining ixigo to help enhance the latter's already existing products by providing travellers with not just utility, but also consumable content and entertainment in the travel space.
All the team members at Reach have joined the product and business teams at ixigo. Reach was identified amongst its peers as a suitable partner when ixigo stumbled upon a unique and one-of-its kind technology in the content discovery and sharing space that Reach was developing, which would potentially be useful to their travellers. "Besides, we met the founders and loved their zeal towards building innovative products," says ixigo CEO and Co-founder Aloke Bajpai.
"By onboarding the Reach team, we are taking our vision of empowering every Indian traveller with trustworthy and personalised travel recommendations a step further. Together, we expect to churn out a lot of smart offerings for our users," says Aloke.
While they revealed very little at this stage, they have divulged that they are building interesting in-app travel entertainment offerings, and will perhaps be rolling out an intuitive AI-based technology. "Every user is unique, and we are ambitious about using intuitive technologies to power their travel experience with smart, personalised recommendations," says Aloke.
Founded by four college friends, Abhay Pruthi, Akshay Pruthi, Ashish Kumar and Ayush Verma, in 2015, Reach is a mobile app that allows its users to browse and download music, games, apps and other consumable content directly from their friends' mobile devices. They raised around $500,000 of funding earlier this year from Rebright Partners along with a few angel investors like Ankur Warikoo, Ankur Singla, Sudhir Anandarao, Durgesh Kaushik, Anunay Gupta, Pritesh Gupta and Sol Primero.
On the other hand, ixigo was founded in 2007 in Gurgaon by Aloke Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar. It aggregates and compares real-time travel information, prices and availability for flights across various aggregator platforms, besides also enabling train, bus, cab, hotel, package and destination bookings. They connect over 80 million travellers with content and deals from over 25,000 online and offline travel and hospitality businesses, and have had a stellar 2016, having served over 40 million travellers this past year alone.
Upon joining forces, Reach CEO Akshay Pruthi said, “We saw a natural connect in working towards the development of smarter offerings for travellers.”
Adding to this, Co-founder Abhay Pruthi said, “ixigo has been creating amazing travel products for Indian users. Collaborating with them will give us the opportunity to further innovate and create awesome products and services and tools for millions of users!”
While the value of the deal is undisclosed, ixigo let on that, as part of the deal, the founders took "the mature decision of returning the remaining funds to the respective investors".