Online travel agent MakeMyTrip had acquired a minority stake in Bangalore-based digital hotel marketing solutions company Simplotel on December 15,2014 for an undisclosed amount as a part of Innovation Fund investments, the company revealed as part of its Q3 FY15 earnings release (pdf). The company also informed that they have committed to make a further investment in Simplotel by June 2015, which would increase its stake to 25%.
MakeMyTrip had set up a $15 million Innovation Fund for investing in early-stage companies in the travel technology space, with a special focus on mobile and IP-based companies, and to explore M&A opportunities, in September last year. The company had said that it will invest up to $3 million in such companies.
Given that the Hotels & Packages business has been driving MakeMyTrip’s revenue growth for the past few quarters, and had even overtaken Air ticketing revenues for the company in Q1-FY15, this acquisition comes at the right time for MakeMyTrip.
Founded in August 2013 by Tarun Goyal and Savan Bellur, Simplotel is a SaaS-based platform that offers hotels solutions like content management, web design, hotel booking engines, and search engine optimization among others. Simplotel offers its clients flexible payment options, including performance-based payments and subscription plans. Some of its hospitality clients in India include The Grand, New Delhi, Aloha On The Ganges, North 16 Goa Resort, Justa Hotels & Resorts, and The Orchid Ecotel among others.
Goyal told The Times of India that the funds will be used to double Simplotel’s team size to 30 by the end of 2015, and to improve sales & support services for its clients.
– MakeMyTrip had acquired the entire equity interest in EasyToBook.com for around $5 million, in February last year. At the time the company had said that the acquisition was to strengthen its travel technology stack and improve its hotel offerings in Europe..
– In November 2012, the company had acquired majority stake in Thailand-based hotels aggregator ITC Group for $3.2 million, and also acquired South East Asia-focused Hotel Travel Group for $25 million.
– In February of the same year, the company had acquired a 79% stake in Singapore-based Luxury Tours & Travel Pte Limited (LTT) for around $3 million.
– MakeMyTrip had also entered into a shareholders agreement and share subscription and purchase agreement to acquire Delhi-based MyGuestHouse in November 2011.