Indian handset manufacturer Micromax has made an undisclosed investment in online travel meta search engine and marketplace Ixigo. Following this investment, the two companies will work towards building on-demand and one-click travel experiences that would be integrated into Micromax devices.
This is Micromax’s second investment in the last four months. In February, Micromax had invested in a local analytics company for a ‘significant minority stake’, though it didn’t reveal the name of the company, the amount invested or other terms of the deal. However, it did mention that its looking for more startups to invest in, and would provide between $0.5 million and $20 million to startups in exchange for 5% to 26% of the stake.
This move is part of Micromax’s push towards setting up a services business, in a bid to explore alternate revenue streams. Last month, Micromax had tied-up with Mumbai-based MoFirst Solutions to offer translation and transliteration services with messaging on its phones and also provide access to about 10,000 local language apps available on MoFirst’s App Bazaar. It’ll be interesting to see if Micromax eventually starts offering its customers a Play Store equivalent for its Cyanogen phones.
Note that the company had earlier inked a strategic partnership with chipset maker MediaTek and telco Aircel to launch bundled device offers for Mediatek powered Micromax products, including smartphones, tablets, features phones and 3G dongles. This included offering Rs 10,000 worth free WAP content over three months, a three months free subscription of its mobile TV service Popkorn TV and 1GB free data per month for three months.
Micromax had first announced its plans of foraying into the services business, in September last year. The company was apparently looking to tap into areas like education, health and security, through partnerships. However, Micromax CEO Vineet Taneja had said at the time that no developments in this regard is likely to materialize over the next 2-3 quarters.
Ixigo cab aggregator app: Earlier this year, Ixigo had launched an Android app called ixigo Cabs, which will aggregate cab info from places near the users. The company had said that they have tied up with major taxi aggregator apps and curated a list of reliable taxi operators in major towns. They’re also planning to expand to inter-city rides in the future.