Online travel search engine Ixigo has acquired all the intellectual property of Desi Backpacking Travelers, the company that runs IndianBackpacker, for an undisclosed amount. As a part of the deal, Akshay Chhugani founder and CEO of the Indian Backpacker, will join Ixigo as head of its Traveller Communities.
In his new role, Chhugani will be responsible for building and maintaining curated communities of travelers across various interest areas. IndianBackpacker currently offers listings of various destinations across India, that contain information about how to get there, where to sleep, best times to be there and things to do etc. The website also features articles on backpacking, exploration, travelogues etc. and user forums to carry out travel discussions.
Ixigo, which searches, aggregates and compares travel content of flights, hotels, trains, buses and packages, seems to have added a ‘booking’ section to the IndianBackpacker. Clicking on this essentially redirects a user to Ixigo’s flight booking section. Other than this, the only other change to IndianBackpacker seems to be its logo that now reads ‘an ixigo company’.
Founded by Rajnish Kumar and Aloke Bajpai in 2007, Ixigo claims to have over 5 million users every month with over 4 million downloads across apps. Its investors are SAIF Partners and MakeMyTrip.com and claims to have partners in Expedia, Go Air, British Airways, Jet Airways, Qantas, TravelYaari, IRCTC and Oberoi Hotels among others.
Micromax investment: In June, Micromax made an undisclosed investment in Ixigo. Following the investment, the two companies were to work towards building on-demand and one-click travel experiences that would be integrated into Micromax devices.
Ixigo cab aggregator app: In April, Ixigo launched an Android app called ixigo Cabs, which aggregated cab info from places near the user’s location. The company had said that they tied up with major taxi aggregator apps and curated a list of reliable taxi operators in major towns. The company is also planning to expand to inter-city rides in the future.
Previous bus, train, flights and hotel and PNR status apps
In September 2013, Ixigo had launched a mobile app on Android to book bus tickets from AC, Volvo and sleeper buses by searching for the original location and destination, number of seats and date of travel. Apart from this, ixigo also had dedicated apps for train booking, flights and hotel, and checking PNR. In May 2013, the company had launched its road travel app, On The Way on the Google Play Store. It also has a host of extensions and apps where users can search on ixigo, plan flights and check fares from mobile, desktop and the browser.
In August 2011, VC Fund SAIF Partners and NASDAQ listed Online Travel Agent (OTA) MakeMyTrip had acquired a majority stake of 76.6% for $18.5 million in iXiGO for a total cash consideration of $18.5 million. This included investment and purchase of shares from the then existing shareholders of Ixigo. Following this transaction, SAIF owned 56.7% of the company while 19.9% would be owned by MakeMyTrip. After the Micromax investment, MMT owns ~15% share in iXiGO.