Online travel agency (OTA) Yatra will be aggregating cabs from online cab aggregators Ola and Uber on its mobile app starting next week, reports VCCircle. Users can also book cabs outside their city as well as self-drive cars (timeline not mentioned) from companies like Myles, Zoomcar and EasyCabs through tie ups.
It will charge a commission from cab aggregators for likely each booking. As of now, the feature is not live on the app. It is unclear if Yatra will launch a new category for booking cabs or if it will suggest a cab when a user is booking a hotel/flight or other mode of transport.
The report cited Manish Amin, co-founder and CIO of Yatra, as saying that the company is looking to automate queries from its customers through bots.
Delisting budget hotel chains; homestays launched
Incidentally, Yatra, along with other OTAs MakeMyTrip and Goibibo had delisted budget hotel chains Oyo Rooms and Zo Rooms from their platforms last October. Before this move, and in the same month, it launched two new types of accommodation options for travellers: TG Rooms and TG Stays, which would be bookable via both Yatra and Travelguru. Note that TravelGuru was acquired by Yatra in 2012.
Travel-logs acquisition; appointments
In January, Yatra acqui-hired the trip planning startup Travel-logs for an undisclosed amount. The startup’s founder Dhiresh Sharma joined Yatra as head of a new segment called Metro X. Yatra also appointed Vikrant Mudaliar as the chief marketing officer, whereas in September last year, it appointed Chakrapani Gollapali as the chief business officer of Holidays.
– In August last year, Yatra partnered with FINO paytech to let users book Yatra tickets through FINO Money centres.
– In April 2014, the company raised Rs 140 crore in funding from IDG Ventures India and Vertex Venture Holdings, with participation from existing investors.
Developments in the online travel space:
– Earlier this month, Cleartrip launched multi-city flight booking on its mobile apps allowing users to book up to 4 flights in the same booking. 59% of Cleartrip’s overall traffic and 46% of all transactions on the platform came from mobile in Q2 2015.
– Ixigo launched one tap cab booking, through which users could get a cab from places without internet or GPS. Last month, it launched ixibook, a service which would allow users to book flights and hotels within the ixigo app. In August 2015, it acquired Rutogo, an intercity cab aggregator to help in scaling ixigo’s cabs app.
– Last month, Goibibo launched Go-Time Guarantee, a service which claims to guarantee refund processing within 2 hours of travel cancellation on the portal. For the quarter ended December 31 (Q3FY16), the company said that 71% of its hotel bookings came via mobile, up from 57% two quarters ago. In February, the Ibibo Group raised $250 million.
– In January, MakeMyTrip raised $180 million in convertible bonds from China’s Ctrip. In November 2015, it launched Value+, a brand of budget hotel rooms, on its website.