MakeMyTrip and Ibibo, two of the biggest online travel platforms in India, have announced a merger that will combine the two businesses under the former’s brand. The combined entity, said to have a valuation of $1.8 billion (approximately Rs. 12,010 crore), and will include Ibibo’s ride-sharing service Ryde, and MakeMyTrip’s homestay platform Rightstay.
Ibibo will be merged into MakeMyTrip, and the Naspers-Tencent combine that backs Ibibo will be the single largest shareholder in the combined entity. The transaction, which is expected to close by December 2016 is subject to approval by regulators. This might be a potential stumbling block as the two companies are arguably the biggest in the space in India.
In terms of organisation, MakeMyTrip’s leadership won’t change much – MakeMyTrip founder Deep Kalra remains the Group CEO and Executive Chairman, while Rajesh Magow remains CEO India. Ibibo’s CEO, Ashish Kashyap, who founded the company in 2007, will join MakeMyTrip as a co-founder and President.
“Today’s announcement is a significant step forward for the rapidly growing travel industry in India,” said Deep Kalra. “We expect this deal to create an even more scalable business with the expertise to transform the booking experience for Indian travellers. I am delighted to be leading such a strong team in our next chapter of high‐growth in this dynamic industry.”
“We welcome the Ibibo team to the newly expanded MakeMyTrip family,” Rajesh Magow added. “The combination of these two enterprises, with their deep understanding of customer preferences, will help us provide an even stronger value proposition to our users and offer further career growth opportunities for all employees”.
“Since I founded Ibibo in 2007, we have innovated and grown to become one of the leading travel companies in India, providing solutions not just for travellers, but for suppliers too,” said Ashish Kashyap. “Deep, Rajesh and I saw a great opportunity to join forces, and I am excited that this merger enables all of us to continue a great journey together as the leading travel group in India.”
MakeMyTrip has been pursuing a series of smaller acquisitions of late, while Ibibo has been involved in some high profile acquisitions such as its 2013 purchase of bus booking portal Redbus. According to a statement issued by MakeMyTrip, the two companies together processed 34.1 million transactions during financial year 2016.