Walmart-owned Flipkart has made a big push into the online travel segment. The e-commerce marketplace on Thursday announced the proposed acquisition of Cleartrip, an online travel company. Bengaluru-based Flipkart will acquire 100% of Cleartrip’s shareholding, as “the company further enhances its investments to strengthen its digital commerce offerings for customers,” it said in a release.
While the details of the deal weren’t disclosed, it is believed to be a mix of both stock and cash, which values the travel firm at around $40 million. Under the terms of the agreement, Mumbai-based Cleartrip’s operations will be acquired by the e-commerce firm. Cleartrip will continue to operate as a separate brand, retaining all employees while working closely with Flipkart to further develop technology solutions to make travel simple for customers, the release said. The deal will be completed subject to applicable regulatory approvals.
Stuart Crighton, CEO and co-founder of Cleartrip, said, “Cleartrip has been a pioneer in capitalising on technology to simplify the travel experience for our customers. This product-driven focus has enabled us to become the preferred travel partner of choice for consumers in a wide range of markets in the region. We are delighted to be part of the Flipkart family and are excited about the positive impact this collaboration can have for our customers and the travel industry in general. ”
In 2006, Crighton, Hrush Bhatt, and Matthew Spacie had founded Cleartrip as a marketplace for air tickets and hotel bookings. It last fundraise was in 2016, when it raised an undisclosed sum from Concur Technologies and Gund Investment, among others. According to Crunchbase data, Cleartrip has raised a total of $56.4 million in funding over six rounds.
Travel bookings have been available on Flipkart since 2018, when it tied up with MakeMyTrip to allow customers to book tickets and other travel services on its portal; later it partnered with ixigo.
“The Flipkart Group is committed to transforming customer experiences through digital commerce. Cleartrip is synonymous with travel for many customers, and as we diversify and look at new areas of growth, this investment will help strengthen our wide range of offerings for customers. We welcome the Cleartrip team with their deep industry knowledge and technology capabilities to the Flipkart Group and look forward to providing deeper value and travel experiences for customers together,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group, in a statement.
Flipkart, in a bid to build an ecosystem of services and offerings, has made some investments in the past few years across categories.
Last year, Flipkart Group, which owns fashion portal Myntra, acquired a 7.8% stake in Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited at an investment of ₹1,500 crore. This wasn’t the first investment by Flipkart to boost its omni-channel growth strategy. In July 2020, it picked up a 27% stake in Arvind Youth Brands, the maker of denim wear brand Flying Machine, for ₹260 crore. Earlier, Myntra had invested an undisclosed amount for a small stake in outdoor and adventure products company, Wildcraft. Flipkart has also invested in ShadowFax, a logistics startup.