Online travel agent MakeMyTrip has informed that it has completed the acquisition of the entire equity interest in a group of companies comprising the EasyToBook.com (ETB) group. It has purchased shares from the existing shareholders of EasyToBook and further invested into the company. The total purchase consideration and investment in EasyToBook is around $5 million.
Online travel company Travix International (a BCD group company) had earlier acquired EasyToBook.com for an undisclosed amount in August 2011.
MakeMyTrip says this acquisition is expected to strengthen its existing travel technology stack and improve its hotel offerings for customers traveling overseas, particularly to Europe. Note that the hotel & packages business has been showing a significant growth for MakeMyTrip continuously, providing respite for the company which has otherwise been struggling with its air ticketing revenues in lieu of reduction in airline commission.
For the quarter ended December 31, 2013, Hotel & packages business had contributed 38.4% of its total revenues, up from 35% in the same quarter last year. This acquisition will allow MakeMyTrip to increase its International hotel inventory in geographies like Europe, which according to the company, is a key tourist destination for Indians, thereby leading to further revenue growth for its hotel & packages business.
Established in 2004, Amsterdam-based EasyToBook offers online hotel reservations for customers in Europe, North America, Dubai, Singapore and other key global travel destinations. It offers a mixture of luxury, budget, boutique and economical hotels worldwide and claims to offers hotel reservations for more than 120,000 hotels worldwide. Besides hotel rooms, it also offers other types of accommodation like B&B’s, hostels, holiday houses, short stay apartments and others.
This is MakeMyTrip’s fifth hotel-related acquisition and fourth overseas: It had acquired South East Asia focused Hotel Travel Group for $25 million in November 2012. In the same month, it had also acquired a majority equity interest in the Thailand based hotel aggregator ITC Group for $3.2 million.
It had also acquired Singapore-based Luxury Tours & Travel Pte Limited (LTT) for more than $3 million in February 2011 and entered into a shareholders’ agreement and share subscription and purchase agreement to acquire Delhi-based MyGuestHouse in November 2011, through an earnout structure based upon the achievement of various business parameters spread over eight years. As of March 31, 2013, MakeMyTrip owns 38.34% stake in MyGuestHouse and has integrated My Guest House’s inventory management system into its Indian website.
Interestingly, MakeMyTrip CEO Deep Kalra had told The Economic Times last week that it is actively looking for potential acquisitions to improve its existing resources. These might include travel sites in places like Middle East and South-East Asia or companies with a niche mobile technology or talent.