Singapore based travel meta search engine Wego has launched an India-specific portal, Wego India. The portal will allow users to search and compare flight and hotel fares and availability, both domestically and overseas. The company claims that users will be able to compare the price and availability of flights and hotels across hundreds of travel sites simultaneously, although the company’s website pegs it at 150 (travel sites).
Indian languages Interface: One interesting and significant feature of Wego is the ability to access the site in various Indian languages. At the time of writing this article, Wego India allows users to switch the portal’s language to 11 Indian languages through a drop down menu at the top right corner. Among the languages supported include Bengali, Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu. After switching the language, we noticed that majority of the site options are translated to the equivalent phrase in the chosen language with exceptions of the search boxes which suggests the places and hotels in English.
Indian OTAs Missing: Wego claimed that it allows users to choose from 350,000 hotels and over 600 full service and low cost carriers through Wego India and informed that the search results are ranked by price and popularity with local users along with offering aggregate reviews. However, we noticed that the site shortlists domestic and international flight deals from airline websites and couple of other travel agents like Expedia, Travelnation, and Cox and Kings. Indian OTAs were missing. In comparison, one of its competitors Ixigo, shortlists flight deals from Indian OTAs (online travel agents) like Yatra, Expedia, Via, Travelocity and others, in addition to deals from airline websites. This has been the case since Wego launched an online flight search engine on the HolidayIQ website last May. Why doesn’t Wego include popular Indian OTAs?
Besides this, Wego allows users to search for flights on multiple OTAs simultaneously, displaying results from each one, in separate windows and like all other OTAs, Wego also offers an option to filter results based on price, departure time, airlines, airport, trip duration, number of stops among other parameters, along with an option to switch between different currencies for ticket prices.
HolidayIQ Merger: Launched in 2005, Wego was previously known as Bezurk and was founded by former executives from Intercontinental Hotels Group, Yahoo!, Priceline and ZUJI and had raised its Series A round of funding from News Digital Media, the Australian digital arm of News Limited and part of News Corp. In November 2010, travel information company HolidayIQ, had announced its merger with WeGo and the combined entity has also raised a Series B round of funding led by growth capital fund Tiger Global.
The company claimed that Wego India is already generating around $17 million monthly revenue through booking leads passed on by its travel partners and is experiencing quadruple growth YoY on domestic routes and 58% on the international routes.