MakeMyTrip to expand travel fintech play by opening up TripMoney to non-captive users

NASDAQ-listed MMT plans to launch TripMoney as a separate app later this year to back travel-related and other fintech services and products.
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Gurugram-headquartered online travel aggregator (OTA) MakeMyTrip (MMT) wants to grow its fintech enterprise, TripMoney, as an independent business. The OTA will also launch a separate TripMoney app later this year to cross-sell and upsell products across consumer loan, bite-sized insurance and forex cards, said a senior company executive.

Launched in 2018 as TripMoney Fintech Solutions, MMT’s fintech play started out as a ‘Book Now, Pay Later’ (BNPL) solution. TripMoney has added new product offerings beyond travel over the last 12-15 months, partly accelerated by the pandemic. 

The OTA and hospitality sector has been one of the worst-hit since March 2020 due to the travel restrictions imposed as a result of the pandemic. MMT had also initiated cost restructuring measures as part of the setback, including lay-offs, as well as dialling down marketing and sales promotion expenses. 

Rajesh Magow, Co-founder and Group CEO, MakeMyTrip

“We added some of the bite-sized insurance products driven by the demand during the pandemic, such as COVID-19 insurance, quarantine insurance, Cancellation For Any Reason (CFAR), which is very popular in other countries and is picking up in India. TripMoney’s services are available to users on the Goibibo and MMT platforms and we plan to extend it to non-captive customers,” Rajesh Magow, Co-founder and CEO of MMT told YourStory

At present, TripMoney is available as an app-in-app service on both the OTA platforms. The independent app will manage customer experience and will partner with NBFCs, financial institutions and insurance providers to offer its services, rather than applying for a license, said Rajesh. The current attachment rate of TripMoney for booking made on the Goibibo and MMT platforms stands at 15 percent, said the CEO.

“We are different from a classic lead-generation platform as we have deep integrations with our partners. Since we have a large amount of captive customer data, we help our partners make data-driven decisions by underwriting the loan or product in a short time. Also the claims process is cumbersome for many products in the offline world, and we digitise it through the TripMoney platform to make it seamless,” said Rajesh. 

He further stated that TripMoney will add to MMT’s bottom-line more than its revenues. Among the three verticals of TripMoney, BNPL has seen Rs 250 crore annualised run-rate of loan disbursals while the insurance vertical has sold nearly 20 lakh policies over the last 15 months. The fintech platform is yet to launch its Forex service. 

During the recent earnings call of the company for the quarter ending December 31, 2021, Rajesh Magow said that the soon-to-be-launched Forex card will pick up pace as international travel opens up in the coming months. 

Headed by Sumit Agarwal, TripMoney has its own team across Bengaluru and Gurugram. The fintech arm will not look at inorganic growth opportunities for technology, said Sanjay Mohan, CTO at MMT.

“We have built the IP in-house and have the capability to build the technology product,” said Sanjay. Rajesh added that the platform was open to acquiring niche plays as a business decision.

It is also important to note that MMT had sold its stakes in trip planning platform Inspirock to Swedish fintech-major Klarna in October 2021. The acquisition adds a trip-planning content layer to Klarna which was last valued at $45.6 billion.

NASDAQ-listed MMT recorded operating profits of $13.2 million for the third quarter of 2021-22 — a jump of 2.6 times over the corresponding quarter in the previous financial year. During the earnings call, Rajesh also said that the company was also seeing the run-rate across its verticals including flight and hotel bookings were close to the pre-pandemic level.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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