Ibibo-owned online bus ticketing site redBus.in has launched in Singapore and Malaysia. Users in these countries will be able to book bus tickets between Singapore and Malaysia, as well as cities within Malaysia, either through the domain redBus.sg or the native Android/iOS app.
According to redBus, this launch is a part of its new ‘redBus global platform’, that will support multiple currencies, time zones, languages and is integrated with international payment systems. As of now, the company claims to aggregate from over 5,700 bus routes in Malaysia and Singapore across various bus operators. It mentions that it makes available over 100,000 bus seats available for sale on a daily basis.
Users of the service will be able to pay either in Singapore Dollars or Malaysian Ringgits. Tourists from India and other countries can also make these bookings, either through the SG domain website, or by changing their region & currency setting on the mobile app. redBus claims that, like India, Malaysia and Singapore also have a fragmented bus operator base which is largely unorganized and incentivized redBus into expanding to Malaysia and Singapore first.
Acquisition by Naspers: In June last year, South African media conglomerate Naspers, had said that it acquired 100% stake in redBus for 1 billion rand (around $101 million at the time). The company had earlier announced in September 2013 that it had acquired 80% in redBus, at the price of 1 billion rand. redBus also reportedly witnessed multiple exits at the senior management level a few months later, due to issues related to how the employee stock options (ESOPs) were dealt with, wherein only the founding team and select employees (not more than three) apparently benefited majorly from the acquisition while the rest of employees were left out.
Founded in 2006, redBus claims to have over 1,800 bus operators and 4.5 million customers on its platform currently. It claims to have seen a growth of 80% year on year, with 40% of the transactions on the platform coming from mobile.