Update: Ibibo CEO Ashish Kashyap has confirmed to TechCrunch that Ibibo has acquired redBus for an undisclosed amount. He said that they will be operating redBus as an independent business in its current travel portfolio which includes Goibibo and Travel Boutique Online.
Also, contrary to the rumors, Kashyap said that redBus CEO Phanindra Sama will stay and continue in his role as the CEO of redBus.
The valuation of the company has not been disclosed, but different reports have suggested that Redbus was valued at $100 and $138 million. Our sources suggest a valuation of between $100-120 million.
Earlier (June 17): South African media conglomerate Naspers is looking to acquire a majority stake in the online bus booking portal redBus.in, through its subsidiary and Ibibo owner MIH Group and is currently in advanced stages of talks, reports The Times Of India, citing sources who are directly familiar with the matter.
The report says that MIH Group is picking up this stake at a valuation of $100 million, although a NextBigWhat report suggests that the deal is valued at Rs 800 crore (around $138 million).
Note that Naspers or RedBus has not confirmed this development to either of the publications. We’re trying to confirm this acquisition and will update the article once we get a response. Update: MIH India CEO Ashish Kashyap has declined to comment on this development, stating that they don’t comment on speculations.
Founded in 2006, redBus currently offers bus ticket booking service through its website, Android app and over the phone across 24 Indian cities. The company claims to offer ticket inventory across more than 12,000 routes from 800 bus operators in the country and has raised around $10 million from investors like SeedFund, Helion Venture partners and Inventus Capital Partners across three rounds.
Besides bus ticketing service, redBus also offers a ‘Software as a Service’ product for bus operators called BOSS (Bus Operator Software Services), which allows bus operators to manage their inventory in real time as well as manage bus schedules, allocate seats to specific agents or branch offices, manage ticket pricing on the service, route and date level and offer online booking on their website through their own payment gateway.
If this acquisition turns out to be true, it will probably strengthen MIH Group’s online travel ticketing venture Goibibo which already offers bus ticketing services along with flight and hotel reservation services. Last year, MIH Group had acquired 51% stake in the Gurgaon-based travel company Tek Travels, which owned a B2B travel portal Travel Boutique Online, which provided white label solutions for agents to offer B2B and B2C travel bookings online.