Travel forum HolidayIQ has raised $15 million in funding from MakeMyTrip, with the latter picking up a minority stake (28%) in HolidayIQ. The transaction will be completed by this month and both the companies will work on scaling up the HolidayIQ platform, concentrating on its hotel growth. The funding will be used for strengthening content and mobile and technology offerings.
HolidayIQ claims to have over 1 million holiday reviews and plans to focus on adding to its capabilities of hotel and holiday review generation. It claims to have 1,300 offline guides for destinations on mobile.
Holidays feature: Last month, HolidayIQ added a new feature to its Android app called ‘Holidays’, a marketplace that showcased various activity based travel packages. The company then claimed to host over a 1,000 packages which customers could browse through based on budget, vacation type, activity and duration among other factors.
SourceN travel team acquisition: In May, HolidayIQ acquired the mobile development team (travel vertical) of California based web and mobile development company SourceN to strengthen its mobile capabilities. It specified that the newly acquired team’s specialisation lay in developing iOS travel apps and before the acqui-hire, the team was developing apps for both Indian and US clients. The company had not disclosed the financials of the deal. HolidayIQ, however, did mention that it would make other investments to enhance its mobile capabilities.
Previous funding: In February 2013, the Bangalore based company raised an undisclosed amount of money in a Series B funding from Tiger Global and Accel Partners. In 2013, HolidayIQ.com, which had merged with Wego in 2010, announced its demerger from the company in February 2013 and raised Series B funding for its demerged operations. The combined entity had previously raised (also) Series B round of funding led by Tiger Global.
Jet Privilege tie up: In October last year, HolidayIQ.com partnered with Jet Privilege, the rewards and frequent flyer programme from Jet Airways, as its Lifestyle partners. The partnership will allows members of the JetPrivilege programme sharing hotel reviews on HolidayIQ.com before the 31st of October, a change to win 25,000 bonus JPMiles.
WeGo merger: In 2011, HolidayIQ, announced the merger of its operations with Singapore based travel meta search engine WeGo. The combined entity launched an online flight search engine on the HolidayIQ website. The search facility was available for both domestic as well as international flights.
Founded in 2004 by Hari Nair, HolidayIQ claims that over 65% of their user activity is through mobile devices (April 2015). It claims to have over 3 million users across 80 cities in India and lists over 2,000 tourism destinations with 50,000 accommodation options. It has partners in MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Expedia, Thomas Cook and SOTC among others.
Image Credit: Flickr user Moyan Brenn