Online travel aggregator Cleartrip has agreed to acquire Flyin, Saudi Arabia’s largest online travel aggregator (OTA), to have a wider outreach, and larger client base, providing Cleartrip economies of scale and enhanced competencies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The deal was said to be worth $50 Mn (INR 340 Cr) by some media sources. However, the transaction details are yet to be disclosedofficially.
“With this acquisition, about 40% of our business comes from our international operations and it will likely grow further,” said Aditya Agarwal, head of M&A and strategy at Cleartrip. Following the acquisition, the combined entity will have a 60% market share in online travel booking segment across the GCC region, Crighton said.
The deal will be to the benefit of both Cleartrip and Flyin, as they can easily capitalise on the growing shift to online travel bookings in the MENA region. MENA is home to a large population of tech-savvy consumers and has the highest level of smartphone and Internet penetration in the world.
Agarwal added that Cleartrip’s focus on delivering an intuitive product and superlative customer experience has cemented its position as the preferred online platform for travellers across India and Middle East and the deal will further bolster their strategies in the MENA region.
This transaction marks an important step in Cleartrip’s endeavours to offer existing and new customers its user experience across the company’s Air, Accommodation, and Experiences categories.
Commenting on the development, Stuart Crighton, founder and CEO of Cleartrip, said, “Having established a strong position in India with our world-class products, we are pushing ahead with our ambitious expansion plans in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa Region) market, and together with Flyin, we have reached a major milestone in our journey.”
Cleartrip was founded in 2006 and offers customers a personalised travel experience. It claims to have sold over 10 Mn flight tickets and 1.5 Mn hotel room nights annually.
Flyin was founded in 2008 and offers integrated travel services and solutions for customers across the MENA and other regions in the world. The company claims to have direct access to over 320K hotels, over 450 airlines, and a wide network travel product and services.
According to Google India-BCG Report, the country’s travel market will be touching $48Bn by 2020. Also, according to an IBEF Report, the online travel space will account for 40% to 50% of total transactions with 2020.
With the Flyin acquisition, Cleartrip looks set to expand its wings further in the online travel bookings segment globally.