ixigo (Le Travenues Technology Limited), India’s leading OTA for the next billion user segment (NBUs), aims to drive faster growth in the NBU travel market by expanding its user base in non Tier 1 cities and solving problems of Tier 2/3 travelers by focusing on localized content and app features . With the overall improvement in travel and internet infrastructure in India, and a surge in the connectivity of villages and towns with Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 cities, the company expects deeper penetration in small cities will drive the rapid adoption of its apps for train, flight, bus and hotel bookings. 92.6% of ixigo’s transactions in FY21 were from or to a Tier 2 / Tier 3 town in India. The company plans to capitalize on such opportunities and to leverage the growth being driven by the NBU travel segment which currently accounts for over 62% of the overall travel market.(Source: F&S Report).
Launched in 2007 by Aloke Bajpai & Rajnish Kumar, ixigo is a technology company that assists travelers in making smarter travel decisions by leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science-led innovations. They are currently the fastest growing OTA platform in the country with the highest cumulative app downloads to date (25.5 cr as of March 2021), more monthly downloads than all other OTA apps (6.74 Mn downloads per month), and the highest usage and engagement.(Source: F&S Report). ixigo was the second largest OTA in India in terms of revenue from operations and total proforma GTV in Fiscal 2021. The travel platform managed to grow its market share, even during the pandemic, due to a quick response time on customer queries, full refund options and an up-to-date help centre for COVID travel guidelines. The company reached a monthly Gross Transaction Value of Rs. 393.8 crores in March 2021 which was 2x of the Pre-COVID level in March 2020. The company also became profitable in FY21 despite the impact of lockdowns on the industry.(Source: Company DRHP & F&S Report)
ixigo has separate apps to market to customers who book trains, buses and flights and their multi-app strategy has allowed them to be relevant to both the most evolved Tier I travelers and the aspiring Tier II/III/IV travelers. At the end of Fiscal 2021, ixigo trains and ConfirmTkt were collectively the leading B2C distribution platforms for IRCTC with 42% market share in terms of rail booking among OTAs & B2C distributors of IRCTC. ixigo was the also third largest Indian flight OTA with a market share of 12% in the total OTA airline market in volume terms in Fiscal 2021. Earlier in the year, the travel company also acquired train discovery and booking platform Confirmtkt and online bus-ticketing platform Abhibus to deepen their presence in the online train & bus ticketing segment. Abhibus is the second largest OTA in the bus segment, with 10% market share (Source: F&S Report)
With an aim to further differentiate themselves in the OTA market, ixigo chose to prioritize railways by providing useful intercity railway information to their customers. Between 2013 and 2018, the travel platform launched a bunch of innovative AI-based data-driven user-friendly features, such as PNR prediction, train live running status, a voice-based travel assistant (TARA), Siri shortcuts, and an AR feature, which allows train passengers to locate their coach positions at more than 7,000 railway stations across the country, which helped it grow rapidly. In the first quarter of 2021, ixigo trains mobile app was the 10th most downloaded travel and navigation app globally as per App Annie.(Source: F&S Report)
With the ‘next billion users’ likely to utilize voice-based commands over text and majority of the internet searches in non-Tier I cities being done on voice and gesture based commands, ixigo intends to introduce more voice enabled features on its OTA platforms, particularly for its utility use cases as well as on their artificial intelligence driven personal travel assistant, TARA. The travel platform plans to continue to invest in technology in order to enhance their customer experience, attract new users organically and capitalize on the expected future growth opportunities in the online travel market in India.
ixigo’s acquisitions and partnerships, together with its technology platforms comprise a travel ecosystem that seeks to solve the needs of travelers across the planning, booking and trip management stages of a trip, improve its ability to offer better diversity of supply, help achieve economies of scale, as well as build significant cost synergies across the group. The company expects to continue to evaluate strategic partnerships, investments and acquisitions in the future.
From the 750 crores total funds that the company plans to raise through an IPO, the company intends to utilise a part of gross proceeds towards running promotions targeting first-time train, bus and flight bookers from the ‘next billion users’ through marketing promotions and discounts.