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MakeMyTrip backs in travel-focused Tech firm Bitla Software

Both, MakeMyTrip and Bitla Software, did not disclose the terms of the transaction. However, the investment is likely to complement redBus, the online bus ticketing platform operated by MakeMyTrip, after its 2016 acquisition of Ibibo Group.
BY BEx Bureau
BusinessEx
Jul 27, 2018

MakeMyTrip Limited, Indias largest online travel operator, has invested an undisclosed sum in travel-focused technology provider Bitla Software, the Nasdaq-listed, Gurgaon-headquartered company announced on Thursday.

Founded in 2007 by NIT alum Dasharatham Bitla, the eponymous 11 year-old company provides bus travel management software and technology solutions to online ticketing portals, hoteliers, holiday tour operators and cargo and logistics companies.

Both, MakeMyTrip and Bitla Software, did not disclose the terms of the transaction. However, the investment is likely to complement redBus, the online bus ticketing platform operated by MakeMyTrip, after its 2016 acquisition of Ibibo Group.

Our latest investment in Bitla Software is aimed at providing an extensive suite of technology products and solutions for the bus and hotel supplier ecosystem, which will further strengthen our strong market position, Deep Kalra, chairman and group CEO of MakeMyTrip, said in an official statement.

With this milestone in our company, we will be able to rapidly develop and expand our suite of travel focused technology products for our customers, Bitla said in the same statement.

This is the sixth investment made by MakeMyTrip over the past few years. The company, which had a market capitalisation of $3.56 billion as of Thursday, has picked up a 25% stake in Bengaluru-based travel tech startup Simplotel Technologies, an 18% stake in travel planning venture Inspirock and a 28% stake in travel information and hotel review portal HolidayIQ, among others.

A number of these investments were routed through the companys Innovation Fund, which was launch in 2014, with a corpus of $15 million, and was set up to support early-stage ventures operating in the travel technology space.

Apart from its stock-led acquisition of Naspers and Tencent Holdings-backed Ibibo Group in October 2016, which, at the time, was the largest consolidation in the Indian internet sector, the Deep Kalra-helmed MakeMyTrip has also placed a number of smaller-sized bets, which saw the company pick up a majority stake in these ventures.

In 2015, it acquired travel planning website Mygola, while in July later that year, it acquired a 67% stake in Bona Vita Technologies, a startup founded by former Snapdeal technology head Amitabh Misra, for $5 million.

Last month, MakeMyTrip reported much-improved fourth quarter results, as the Nasdaq-listed companys numbers were boosted by a combination of strong growth across its two primary businesses.

For the quarter ended March 31, the company reported loss of $44.1 million, or 42 cents a share, down from $73.1 million, or 93 cents a share on a diluted basis in the year ago period.

Revenue for the three-month period increased by more than 31% to $157.8 million, compared to the year-ago period.

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