India’s ecommerce giant Flipkart recently announced that it is acquiring Cleartrip to bolster its presence in the online travel booking segment. The Walmart-owned ecommerce major will be acquiring 100% shareholding of the online travel-tech company and its operations. However, Cleartrip will continue to operate as a separate brand and will retain all its employees while working closely with Flipkart to further develop technology solutions for the online travel space.
According to the company, the deal is subject to regulatory approvals.
The acquisition deal amount has not been disclosed as yet but according to some media reports it is pegged at around $40 million. There are speculations that this could be a distress sale since most of the travel companies have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cleartrip had to lay off as many as 500 employees last year due to the ongoing crisis.
Cleartrip has been a pioneer in leveraging technology to simplify the travel experience for its users. According to Cleartrip’s CEO and co-founder Stuart Crighton, this collaboration will have a positive impact on its consumers and the travel industry in general.
In 2018, Cleartrip had brought an Alexa integration to enable its users to do hotel and flight booking through voice. The online travel platform also partnered with Amazon- Flipkart’s arch-rival in 2019 to bring flight bookings to Amazon Pay.
Flipkart had also partnered with MakeMyTrip in 2018 to enable travel booking on its platform. In 2019, it also signed a deal with Ixigo. However, since the onset of the pandemic, the travel industry has been facing an uphill struggle.
The deal between Flipkart and Cleartrip has come at a time when Amazon is aggressively pushing travel and hotel bookings on their site as a part of their diversification strategy into new services including e-pharmacy, food delivery, and selling financial products online.
With this acquisition, Flipkart steps into the travel aggregators market and will compete with already established players including MakeMyTrip, Goibibo, Yatra, and EaseMy Trip among others.
Founded in 2007 by Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal, Flipkart headquartered in Bangalore is India’s ecommerce major that offers 30 million products across 70 plus categories.
Flipkart was acquired by Walmart in 2018. The company is backed by an array of investors including Tiger Global Management, Tencent, Accel, Vulcan Capital among others. Flipkart has over 75 million registered users and clocks 10 million daily visits on its site.
Founded in 2006 by Hrush Bhatt, Mathew Spacie, and Stuart Crighton, Cleartrip is an online travel platform that allows its users to book flight and hotels.
The company is backed by Lightbox, SAP Concur, DAG Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, and Sherpalo Ventures.