It looks like e-commerce venture Infibeam has forayed into travel ticketing, by launching a new ‘travel & tickets‘ section on the site. We are not quite sure when this section was launched, since we couldn’t find any official information on this.
At the time of writing this article, it offers flight tickets, bus tickets and hotel reservations. It also offers domestic & international holiday packages along with excursion packages to the Adlabs Entertainment’s theme park Adlabs Imagica. Remember that Adlabs Imagica currently uses Infibeam’s e-ticketing solution INCEPT for e-ticketing on its website.
It’s worth noting that the ticketing is not being done on Infibeam, rather users are taken to another site called Clickmego.com to complete the booking. Clickmego is being positioned as Infibeam’s travel initiative and is a full-blown travel booking site, quite similar to other players like Cleartrip, MakeMyTrip and Goibibo among others.
Remember that Infibeam already has access to flight, bus, taxi & hotel inventory through its DIY e-commerce solution BuildaBazaar. It offers this as part of the offering to travel agents who intend to open their own online stores. In addition, agents can also add their own local travel inventory to focus on specific tours & packages depending on the season and the location. Interestingly, we noticed that ClickMeGo is also listed in BuildaBazaar’s Showcase section.
There are very few e-commerce players that offer travel services and also have an e-commerce offering. Paytm offers bus ticketing on its site and had recently launched a mobile-only marketplace while train ticketing service IRCTC has an e-commerce site which is operated by Yebhi.com. Japanese membership-based Internet services company Rakuten, is also apparently planning to enter India this year. It’s strange to find Infibeam enter a segment with some fairly established incumbents, and what is typically seen to be a low margin business.
Online travel agent MakeMyTrip is the only listed entity in this space. It reported a net loss of $1.6 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2013 (Q3-FY13), its fifth consecutive loss making quarter. Net revenues (revenues less service costs) were at $28.6 million for the quarter, of which $16.46 million was from Air Ticketing (0.89 million transactions), on net revenue margins of 7.3%. It’s Hotel & Packages segment reported net revenues of $10.99 million (0.23 million transactions), on net revenue margins of 12.6%.