Flipkart announced Thursday that it will acquire Cleartrip, an online travel aggregator, at an undisclosed price. This transaction will enable the e-commerce giant owned by Wal-Mart to strengthen its position in the field of online travel and become strong competitor to Amazon. Although both Flipkart and Amazon provide bookings for air tickets, buses and trains, companies such as MakeMyTrip and Cleartrip have been major players in this field. The acquisition can also help the company develop its business and revenue.

Flipkart will acquire all of Cleartrip’s business, although Cleartrip will continue to operate as separate brand in accordance with the terms of the agreement announced in the press release. The agreement also stipulates that after the transaction is completed, Flipkart will acquire 100% of Cleartrip’s equity. Cleartrip will retain its employee base.

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of Flipkart Group, said in prepared statement: “We welcome the Cleartrip team to join the Flipkart Group with its rich industry knowledge and technical capabilities, and look forward to jointly providing with deeper value and travel experience.”

The financial terms of the acquisition were not publicly disclosed. However, the reported transaction size is approximately US$40 million (approximately Rs 299.8 crore).

In 2018, Flipkart partnered with MakeMyTrip to enable travel booking its platform. Later, in August 2019, Flipkart signed an agreement with Gurgaon-based Ixigo. Since then, the tourism industry has faced arduous efforts, and more than year of COVID-related restrictions have had a huge impact the tourism industry.

Stuart Crighton, CEO and co-founder of Cleartrip, said: “We are delighted to be part of the Flipkart family and are pleased with the positive impact this cooperation has on our and the entire travel industry.

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Founded in 2006, Cleartrip is one of the earliest large-scale travel aggregators, although from third-party data, it can be seen that competitors like MakeMyTrip and Ibibo (joined in 2017) have become more and more in recent years popular.

Cleartrip in 2018 introduced Alexa integration, allowing users to book flights and hotels using voice. The Mumbai-based company also partnered with Flipkart competitor Amazon in May 2019 to bring ticket bookings to Amazon Pay.

Both Amazon and Flipkart declined to comment on whether to continue using Amazon Pay’s Cleartrip products.

By joining Cleartrip, Flipkart has directly entered the travel aggregator market that already has EaseMyTrip, Goibibo, MakeMyTrip and Yatra. The deal was also reached when people avoided traveling due to the spread of the coronavirus.

According to data from the Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), India’s tourism industry is expected to grow by 6.7% to reach Rs. By 2029, it will reach 350 billion rupees, accounting for 9.2% of the total economy. The country also has large number of platforms to book and plan domestic and international travel online.


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