In what is claimed to be the largest cross-border venture debt deal to an Indian business, online travel company Yatra has raised $15.4 million (Rs 100 crore) from InnoVen Capital. The Asian venture debt firm had previously extended a $4 million venture debt facility to Yatra in 2013. This was fully paid off when the company was listed.
In a press release, Alok Vaish, Yatra’s Group CFO, said,
“After having raised $92 million through our Nasdaq listing in December 2016, this debt funding provides us additional capital for our growth needs. InnoVen is a market leader in venture debt funding in India and their credit exposure to Yatra is another strong reaffirmation of our leadership position in the Indian online travel space and strong business fundamentals”.
NASDAQ-listed Yatra provides travel-related services such as domestic and international air ticketing, hotel booking, homestays, holiday packages, bus ticketing, rail ticketing, activities, attractions and ancillary services. Yatra recently acquired corporate travel services provider Air Travel Bureau Ltd, making the combination the largest corporate travel services platform in India.
Founded in 2006 by Sabina Chopra and Manish Amin, Yatra went public last year. The new debt capital will be utilised to meet the growth and diversification needs of Yatra and to add to its list of unique services to enrich travel offerings.
Started in 2008 as the first dedicated venture debt provider in India, InnoVen Capital offers multiple debt capital solutions, including venture debt, acquisition finance, growth loans, and syndication. The firm has since then expanded to South East Asia and China. InnoVen is also an investor in Oyo Rooms, Swiggy, Pepperfry, Shopclues, Byju’s, Freecharge, Myntra, Firstcry, Capillary and Practo in India.
In a telephonic interaction, Chin Chao, Interim CEO for Innoven Capital, told YourStory that he is hopeful about the future of online travel market in India. “Online channels are under-represented in domestic and international travel. But the industry is big – there is space for multiple players,” he said, adding that the venture debt firm is keen on exploring possibilities with larger cheque sizes.
According to a recent Google-BCG report, the Indian travel market will be worth $48 billion by 2020 and is growing at a CAGR of 11 percent. Online travel alone will contribute more than 40 percent by then, as per IBEF data. Yatra competes with MakeMyTrip (which recently acquired Goibibo) and Cleartrip. The former, which has raised more than $500 million, also went the IPO way in 2010.