Online travel and ticketing company Ixigo has announced the acquisition of train discovery and booking startup Confirmtkt. The two companies have entered into a definitive share purchase agreement, which would see Ixigo acquire 100% stake in the Bengaluru-based platform.
While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, the transaction would be a through mix of cash and Ixigo stock. Aloke Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar, the founders of Ixigo will join the Confirmtkt board, while Confirmtkt’s existing investors, including Venture Catalysts, will be exiting the company fully. Both companies, which are official IRCTC ticketing partners, will continue to run independently, post the confirmation of the acquisition deal. The combined entity is said to have a scale of 35 Mn monthly active users.
The company said that resumption of train services and relaxation of lockdown norms have led to swift recovery of reserved train ticketing to near pre-Covid levels. Both Ixigo and Confirmtkt are official IRCTC B2C premium ticketing partners for online train reservations in India. “This deal will help the group to consolidate its presence in Tier 2/3/4 markets with its combined user base of nearly 200 Mn Indians,” Ixigo said in a press statement.
Founded by Dinesh Kumar Kotha and Sripad Vaidya in 2015, Confirmtkt recorded INR 1.54 Cr profit in FY20 on the back of INR 21.4 Cr revenue. The train discovery and booking app has over 20 Mn lifetime downloads from the Google Play Store. Confirmtkt’s founders said in a joint statement: “We remain committed as a team towards our joint vision of serving the underserved market segment and to become the first transactional touchpoint for millions of Indian travellers in the times to come.”
Ixigo + ConfirmTkt: Train Travel In Post-Covid World
While Covid-19 and the resultant lockdowns around the world hit the travel industry hard, the recovery had begun by June 2020, as Ixigo founder Bajpai told us in an interaction in December 2020. “…in July 2020, when we looked at our P&L statements, we realised that we were actually doing better than we had planned for… by July, the number of flyers were increasing. Now, nearly 55% of the pre-Covid demand is back in flight bookings.”
He had added at the time that train bookings were also growing and that was another area of focus for Ixigo.
“If you look at trains, a major business for us, you will find that train ticket reservation is quite close to pre-Covid levels. Currently, around 1.5 Mn people are travelling every day with reserved bookings, which is quite high as the government has added a lot more capacity to the existing reserved compartments.”