Industry

EaseMyTrip looking for more acquisitions next year


BSE-listed Easy Trip Planners, popularly known as EaseMyTrip, will look at more acquisitions next year, besides growing organically, co-founder Prashant Pitti said. announced plans to acquire brands such as Spree Hospitality and YoloBus this year and it wants to expand its non-air business, Pitti said.

“You can anticipate many more acquisitions in 2022. When we went public in March, no internet company had listed in the last three and a half years. In the last 7-8 months our stock has been trading at around 535/40. We got listed at 187. We were among the best performing stocks for this year. And we have done that after going through the second Covid wave,” Pitti said in an interview.

He said the company is considering segments such as hotels, holidays and cabs to expand further and currently 95% of its business is flights. He said the real impact of Omicron on travel is yet to be seen in India, but based on the situation in other countries, and what experts seem to be saying, he expects the impact in India to be short lived and limited.

“We think it’ll impact India for a month or two. That doesn’t change any long term strategies for us. Since windows are shortening more and more people will depend on holiday experts and OTAs for travel. We are looking at becoming a travel ecosystem and will expand our non-air business,” he said.

This month, EaseMyTrip announced that it is acquiring the brand name, technology, team, running business and ‘data expertise’ of YoloBus, an intercity mobility platform. The company said the acquisition will add a new revenue stream and will ‘fast-track’ its growth in the non-air segment. In November, the company announced that it has acquired hospitality management company Spree Hospitality and said Spree Hospitality will add a new revenue vertical and will enable it to scale up its hotel and holidays portfolio. EaseMyTrip had also entered into a non-binding agreement offer with Traviate Online Private Limited for the acquisition of the business.

“In India, 60-65% of hotels are anyways filled by travel agents and only 15-20% are filled by OTAs like us. Traviate is trying to disrupt the hotels selling via travel agents model. It works with around 400 travel agents. We share a deep relationship with 56,000 travel agents. This is where EaseMyTrip will help Traviate immensely. EaseMyTrip will also be able to optimise its prices on its hotel products,” said Pitti and added:

”Spree currently holds 1200 room keys and is majorly into metros, and in the three star hotels category. That is exactly where our audience is. Using Spree inventory, we will basically create bundles and will offer flights plus Spree hotels to our consumer base. We don’t need to pre buy the inventory.”

He said YoloBus is trying to standardise the bus ecosystem and it works with bus operators to make bus transport better. “In India, 55% of all the inter state travel happens via buses. Around 40% is via trains and the remaining 5-10% is via flights and private vehicles. It is a huge market,” he added.

He said the company will grow both organically and inorganically in FY 22. “We are looking at becoming a travel ecosystem and will look for companies which have very strong business fundamentals, strong unit economics and companies that may not have raised any money.”



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