Af­ter Take­off, ix­igo Now Turns to Ho­tel Book­ings

The Economic Times - - Disruption: Startups & Tech - Var­sha.Bansal@ times­group.com

Hy­der­abad: On­line travel search marketplace ix­igo, which claims to record monthly trans­ac­tions worth $10 mil­lion, plans to di­vert some of its re­sources to fo­cus on the un­tapped ho­tel book­ings seg­ment over the next12 months, chief ex­ec­u­tive Aloke Bajpai has said.

Flight book­ings and ad­ver­tise­ments still make up a ma­jor chunk of the rev­enue of this meta-search en­gine, which ag­gre­gates in­for­ma­tion on flights, trains, cabs and ho­tels, among oth­ers. Ho­tel book­ings have so far con­trib­uted only a pal­try share. “We want to launch a much more evolved ver­sion of our cur­rent ho­tel prod­uct,” Bajpai told ET. “From a rev­enue stand­point, we would ex­pect it to con­trib­ute 3-4 times of what it does to­day.” The com­pany, which com­petes with the likes of Tri­vago and TripAd­vi­sor, aims to close the cur­rent fis­cal year with a rev­enue of .₹ 50-60 crore, more than dou­ble its rev­enue of .₹ 23 crore for FY17, he added.

Bajpai said the on­line ho­tel book­ing seg­ment is still an un­tapped mar­ket with over 80% of ho­tels be­ing booked in In­dia through off­line chan­nels. More­over, prof­itabil­ity in this seg­ment is higher due to larger mar­gins. The ix­igo team is re­jig­ging the ho­tel seg­ment prod­uct to suit cus­tomer per­spec­tive –– to throw up the right ho­tel match to the cus­tomer rather than just pro­vid­ing price com­par­isons. Backed by Se­quoia Cap­i­tal In­dia and Fo­sun Kin­zon Cap­i­tal, among oth­ers, ix­igo has been fo­cused on en­hanc­ing mo­bile ex­pe­ri­ence, which has re­sulted in 35% of the total book­ings com­ing in from mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions, said Bajpai.

The com­pany, which raised its lat­est round of funds ear­lier dur­ing the year, has been us­ing it to im­prove tech­nol­ogy and is look­ing to roll out new prod­ucts in the com­ing months.

Co aims to close the cur­rent fis­cal year with a rev­enue of 50-60 crore

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