In a move that is sure to stir up the online travel market in India, Ibibo has acquired Bangalore-based online bus ticketing portal redBus. The firm has moved up the bus ticketing sphere in leaps and bounds from their roots all the way back in 2005. It can be said that such a takeover would be inevitable considering the success of the website, but now that the takeover has happened, there’s just one question that is ringing around online circles – what could be next on redBus’ itinerary?
We take a look.
The Facts Behind The redBus Acquisition
Ibibo Group is an Indian subsidiary of South African media and the internet group Naspers. The online bus ticketing giant was being promoted by Pilani Soft Labs Pvt Ltd, a company that has now entered into a binding agreement with Ibibo group for this acquisition. The CEO of redBus, Phanindra Sama, has made a quote to the media stating that a deal such as this was inevitable because the company was funded by venture capital and needed to offer an exit strategy for its funders.
Though no official statement has been made as to the value of the deal in question, experts have estimated it to be worth over $100 million.
However, the takeover does not mean redBus will be merging with GoIbibo or TravelBoutiqueOnline.com, which are both travel assets that belong to Ibibo Group. In a statement issued by the firm, this deal will give impetus to its existing travel sites and redBus will continue to operate independently with its core team in place.
What’s Next On The List?
A firm so obsessed with looking at the minor details before moving on to the bigger picture like redBus has a reputation for covering all bases before expanding further.
It’s safe to say that with this recent takeover solidifying their top-spot in the bus-ticketing sector and with no venture-capitalist influence to affect decision-making, the founders can move forward with penetrating the online space of the industry as a whole. As stated by the CEO of Ibibo Group, Ashish Kashyap, online penetration for bus-ticketing struggles at 5.7% while air travel soars at 28%. This validates the need for the industry leader to push the overall concept forward through service innovation and some increased marketing.
It could also be assumed that like Via and other competitors in the online travel space, redBus will look to expand on another form of road-travel – car based travel. This can be built mainly around cabs and can be tied in with sightseeing at holiday destinations. The bus ticketing experts could use their experience in building a distribution system for an unorganized sector of travel and do the same with the many scattered cab and car rental companies across India. These are just some of the speculated theories of what redBus might get into next.
Whatever their next move is, we’re sure that redBus will continue to make a name for itself as a market leader in the travel space. And with cost-effective discount coupons in the form of travel coupons having been introduced, the whole of India will soon jump on board.
What do you think redBus will do next? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.