MakeMyTrip buys 25% stake in Bengaluru-based Simplotel

By: |
May 17, 2015 7:20 AM

Eyes start-ups for market share growth

Eyes start-ups for market share growth

Kahini ChakrabortyMumbai

Presently holding 47 per cent market share in the online travel segment in India, MakeMyTrip.com, one of the largest e-commerce business, as part of its future growth plans, has instituted US$ 15 million Innovation Fund last year to primarily support early stage companies and start-ups with a special focus on mobile and IP based companies. Speaking exclusively to Food & Hospitality World, Rajesh Magow, co-founder and India CEO, MakeMyTrip said, “The fund is focused on young and new ventures in the travel technology space. We want to encourage entrepreneurs building niche companies in this domain. This initiative is an additional prong of our inorganic growth strategy of pursuing mergers and acquisitions opportunities in the travel technology space. Through this fund we recently acquired certain assets of Mygola.com to focus on cutting-edge innovation in online travel.” Additionally, the company has also bought a 25 per cent stake in Bengaluru based digital hotel marketing solutions firm Simplotel.

When asked about the trend of start-ups emerging in the online travel space and how does MakeMyTrip see this competition growing, he opined, “Our edge is clearly technology-expertise and first-in-market launches like buddy-city algorithm to provide cheaper flight options. While we do not comment on competitor strategies, we welcome strong competition since it is good for the marketplace and the customers. We are well-funded, have a clear focus on technology-led innovation and creating customer delight. Hence what a competitor or a new entrant does is not a threat. Beyond price-advantage and tech-robustness, what creates a difference is user-experience and service. Those are the key attributes we are focused on.”

In August 2010, MakeMyTrip, the parent company of MakeMyTrip (India) and MakeMyTrip.com, debuted in the US market with its shares soaring over 80 per cent after its listing on the NASDAQ. The company has raised US$ 80 million from its initial public offering of 5.75 million shares to investors. At an offer price of US$ 14 per share, the company was valued at close to US$ 480 million, prior to the listing. In 2012, the company had also shifted focus to hotel-bookings as a significant line of business (LoB). Last year, the company launched its B2B affiliate programme operating under two categories – B2B tie-up and Priority Partner Programme.

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