Archive for the ‘Travel Portal’ Category

Private equity investors log on to travel portals

February 27, 2007

Travel portals are increasingly catching the fancy of private equity (PE) players what with investments in this fast emerging business segment registering a 100 per cent jump.

Industry analysts point out that PE investments in travel portals touched Rs 180 crore in 2006 against Rs 90 crore in 2005. Meanwhile, individual investments have also doubled to Rs 300 crore from Rs 150 crore in the past one year.

“But that is not all. In the next two years, the online travel portals will invite a PE investment of Rs 200 crore. Today, the online travel market is pegged at Rs 4,000 crore and by 2008, it is estimated to be a Rs 10,000 crore market,” they said.

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Air Deccan, Travelguru team up for hotel bookings

February 25, 2007

Low-cost carrier Air Deccan on Wednesday announced a tie-up with online travel portal Travelguru to provide budget hotel bookings and holiday packages to travellers. The tie-up will enable the airline’s passengers select and make reservations in 2,500 hotels located in 160 cities — including over 1,500 budget/economy hotels — through its Web site.

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Cleartrip, Jet, Futurebazaar in pact

February 21, 2007

Cleartrip, online travel portal, has entered into a tie-up with Jet Airways and Futurebazaar, an online shopping portal that provides a wide range of products at competitive prices. On every round trip booking with Jet Airways, Cleartrip will offer its customers a Free Futurebazaar shopping voucher worth Rs 1,000. This promotion has been made exclusive by Jet Airways to customers booking on Cleartrip and is valid for travel from February 19 to March 21, on all sectors on the Jet Airways network.

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MakeMyTrip Makes $13 Million

December 15, 2006

Barely two weeks after Travelguru, an airline and hotel-booking consolidator, bagged its second round of funding of $15 million, MakeMyTrip has confirmed it is receiving $13 million in its second round of financing from Helion Ventures, Sierra Ventures, and SB Asia Infrastructure Fund (SAIF).

These are large sums for Indian dotcoms, but in the fiercely competitive travel-bookings market, each of the travel web sites in India are finding they need to try to outdo their competitors (see Money Flies to India Trip Sites).

MakeMyTrip (MMT), a 2006 Red Herring Asia company, will use the money to strengthen its infrastructure, build more relationships within the tourism industry, and add tech capabilities to its web-enabled business. Among these will be interactive maps, a feature not seen on any of the India-centric travel sites yet.

The company received its first round of funding for $10 million from SAIF Partners in May 2005.

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Travel Portal – What can you do to decrease dependency on Airlines Booking based revenue

December 14, 2006

With news of Air Deccan getting funded by Reliance Capital and Spicejet equity picked up by Tata brought good news and showed faith in indian aviation sector. Though going forward with my earlier post on Travel portal valuations. Things still not change as if prices keep falling the way they are volumes will surely be created but the actual revenue earned in terms of percentage will also decrease.

Now we know portal managers are talking about new strategy for increasing revenue share of hotel reservations. The sale of indian hotels to indians at lower end of spectrum could only workout if they follow a strategy of e-enabling hotels across the spectrum. Well we are surely not talking about higher end 4 star hotels and above category. But the real budget category. Ways to have a go at them

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Travel portals force brands to go online

December 14, 2006

The travel boom in India has had an unexpected spin off. A large number of Online Travel Service (OTS) portals such as xplorz.com, makemytrip.com and more recently cleartrip.com are making a beeline for the almost US $ 800 million Indian online travel market.

Some global players such as travelocity.com and expedia are also targeting Indian market aggresively. This is leading to established travel companies clawing back their market share from portals by going online.

According to PhoCusWright Inc., the travel, tourism and hospitality research firm,

Indian travel market both offline and online together is valued at US $ 13.5 billion. The Indian online travel market, which is estimated at $ 796 million in 2006 is expected to rise to $ 2 billion by 2008.

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Air tickets most shopped online: Study

December 12, 2006

India’s online shoppers bought more air tickets over any other category in the first half of 2006, according to a report released by the world’s biggest credit-card company Visa International and AC Nielsen.

Airline ticket customers formed 40 per cent of online shoppers in India in the six months to June 30, Visa said in a statement. This was followed by books with 29 per cent and music at 24 per cent.

In addition to being the overall category leader, online airline ticket purchases have also been attracting a significant amount of repeat purchases by consumers. Globally, airlines represent the largest merchant category of e-commerce transactions (close to $6.68 trillion for April 2006).

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Travel Portal Valuations on Dalal Street

December 12, 2006

Talking on DOTCOM valuations. Since Naukri.com got listed on Bombay Stock Exchange media and blogs have been talking about the next portal which can go in for listing. Most of these blogs have been bringing up names of Makemytrip.com, indiagames.com, shaadi.com. Now as for our blog is concerned we like to talk about travel portals.

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Battery Ventures, Sequoia Capital Invest $15 Million In Travelguru

November 30, 2006

It’s official. Indian online travel company Travelguru has received second round funding of $15 million from Battery Ventures and Sequoia Capital India.

This is the first investment in the “Indian consumer internet space” by Battery Ventures. The investment from Battery side was led by General Partner Mark Sherman. KP Balaraj, Managing Director, led the investment from Sequoia Capital India.

Travelguru is a hotel and airline ticketing consolidator in the B2C space. The site claims to service about 70,000 customers a month.

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Now, book air tickets through SMS

November 23, 2006

After movie tickets and cooking gas cylinders, now you can book your airline ticket through an SMS. And it’s all so easy — send an SMS to 6858 or 4242 saying, for example, ‘FLY Delhi Mumbai 20 December’.

In 15 seconds, you will get a reply listing top 11 flight options with the lowest fare on top. Another SMS by you saying ‘FLY book’ will get you a reply promising a call from their executive, this time within 15 minutes. Alternatively, you could visit the website (www.flightraja.com) and complete the formalities. Your ticket is done!

And if all goes as planned, in a few months it will be possible to book a ticket through SMS without any human interface, says Ashwini Kakkar, partner, flightraja.com. According to Kakkar, 6 million mobile connections were added in India in October alone.

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