Yatra, the NASDAQ listed online travel company, has entered into an agreement to acquire Air Travel Bureau Ltd, which it says is India’s largest independent corporate travel services provider, with gross bookings of Rs 1500 crores, and a client base of over 400 large and medium businesses across India. The boards of both companies have approved the acquisition, but the terms of the deal have not been disclosed. A statement from Yatra says it has agreed to assume ATB’s debt, and acquire all its shares.
Yatra said that “The first Closing to acquire majority of the outstanding shares is expected to occur by mid-August, 2017 and the second Closing is expected to occur in Q2 of the 2018 calendar year, subject to other customary closing conditions.”
ATB is a 30 year old company and claims that it can help companies save up to 20% of their corporate travel costs. That’s the market that Yatra is looking at: in a statement, Yatra co-Founder and CEO Dhruv Shringi said that as a combined entity, “we are now the largest corporate travel services platform in India by Gross Bookings.”
For ATB, they’ll also get access to Yatra’s aggregation of hotels, which they can offer to their clients, according to ATB CEO Sunil Narain. In addition, they’ll get Yatra’s technology. According to ATB’s website, they have their own online booking tool with web-fares, travel policy compliance tools, built-in trip authorisation and travel notifications, and a real-time view of travel spend for travel managers, apart from an integration with ERP solutions like SAP and Oracle.
The acquisition of ATB essentially helps Yatra strengthen its position in the more reliable corporate travel business vertical, even as it tries to find its own space in a market that the MakeMyTrip-Goibibo combine dominate.
Yatra’s performance in FY17
- Cumulative travel customers as of FY17 end: 5.2 million
- Repeat transactions as a % of total: 75%
- Direct to consumer transactions: 2.6 purchases per year
- Average transaction value: Rs 26,400
- Visits: 171 Million up 11% year on year (YoY)
- Unpaid traffic: 87% of visits, up from 81% in FY16
- eCash (rewards program for repeat usage): 48% 90-day repeat rate in January 2017, cross sell rate of 16%
- Yatra app downloads: 8.7 million
- Mobile: 63% of total consumer visits, up from 40% in FY16. 72% of total consumers visits in Q4 FY17
- Mobile app traffic (visits): up 30% YoY
- Mobile app air bookings: up 80% YoY
- Mobile app hotel bookings: up 40% YoY
- Travelers: 1.4 million
- Growth in net transaction count: 29%
- Growth in net transacting customers: 25%
- Growth in gross air passenger count: 20.6%
- Growth in gross holiday packages passengers traveled: 9.8%
- Growth in standalone gross hotel room nights booked: 21.4%
- Growth in gross bookings: 16.1%
Yatra.com listed on NASDAQ and trades under the name YTRA in July last year, following a reverse-merger with a listed company, called “Terrapin 3 Acquisition Corporation”. The company currently claims to provide bookings for more than 61,000 hotels in India and more than 500,000 hotels around the world. It was the second OTA to get listed after MakeMyTrip.