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Online travel agent Goomo raises $50 million from PE fund Emerging India

Online travel agency Goomo, which was launched three months ago, has raised $50 million in funding from private equity firm Emerging India, reports Tnooz. In February this year, Mauritius-based Emerging India had acquired a majority stake in Mumbai-based travel agency Orbit Tours and Travels, following which Goomo was launched in March.

Currently, Goomo lets users book flight tickets (domestic and international), holiday packages and trade fair travel deals. The site claims that the option to book hotels, buses, and trains, and also the option to apply for visa and locate nearby travel agents will be added soon. It’s worth noting that parent company Orbit Tours and Travels specializes in trade fairs and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) travel.

The online travel space in India is, more than ever, focused on the major players at present. MakeMyTrip and Yatra are arguably the two biggest players, with Cleartrip behind in the pecking order.

MakeMyTrip steadily consolidating its position

Last month, MakeMyTrip had raised $330 million in a fresh round of funding via a private placement of shares and issuance of fresh stock to existing investors Ctrip and Naspers. It’s worth noting that in February this year, SAIF Partners exited MakeMyTrip after selling its entire 11 per cent stake in the company. SAIF Partners were the first investors in the company and made $400 million on an initial investment of $25 million.

And just the month before that MakeMyTrip and the Ibibo Group completed the merger of the two companies and the parent group of the Ibibo Group (Naspers and Tencent). The merged entities also includes the Goibibo, RedBus, Ryde and Rightstay brands.

MakeMyTrip reported revenues of $120 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 (Q4 FY17), an increase of 36.4% from $88 million in the corresponding quarter last year. It reported a net loss of $73.1 million, as compared to a loss of $49.9 million in Q4 FY16. Losses stemmed from marketing expenses and costs related to employees following the Ibibo merger. The company claimed it had more than 7 million monthly active users (MAUs) for its mobile apps and said that currently 74% of domestic hotels orders are on mobile and 48% of domestic flight orders are from mobile.

Other investments in the online travel space

– In February this year, marketplace for travel agents TravelTriangle had raised $10 million in a Series B round of funding from RB Investments, and participation from existing investors SAIF Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners. The funds were used to hire more employees and extend operations.

– In December last year, after completing a reverse merger with special purpose acquisition from Terrapin 3 Acquisition Corp (TRTL) to be listed on NASDAQ, Yatra Online had reportedly raised $92.5 million of primary capital from a group of global investors. A month later, the company was planning to raise a further $60.4 million through the sale of 6.3 million shares held by existing investors.

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