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Online travel services firm MakeMyTrip (MMT), has acquired a minor stake in Bangalore-based digital hotel marketing solutions company Simplotel for an undisclosed amount.

In september 2014, Makemytrip had created an Innovation fund of $15 Mn to invest in startups working on travel-related technology startups. This is its first investment from the recently created innovation fund. The company plans to invest further in Simplotel by June 2015, increasing its stake to 25%.

Tarun Goyal, CEO, Simplotel, said that the funds will be used to double company’s team size to 30 by the end of 2015, and to improve sales & support services for its clients.

MMT aims to promote the online distribution of accommodation inventory in India through this investment.

Founded in 2000 by Deep Kalra, MakeMyTrip is India’s leading online travel company created to empower Indian traveller with instant booking and comprehensive choice. Beginning its journey from US-India travel market, the company followed its success in the US by launching its India operations in 2005. MakeMyTrip is the dominant market-leader with 47% market-share and a one-stop-travel-shop that offers the broadest selection of travel products and services in India.

On the other hand, founded by Tarun Goyal and Savan Bellur in 2013, Simplotel is a SaaS-based platform that offers hotels solutions like content management, web design, hotel booking engines, and search engine optimization among others. Simplotel offers its clients flexible payment options including performance-based payments and subscription plans. Some of its hospitality clients in India include The Grand, New Delhi, Aloha On The Ganges, North 16 Goa Resort, Justa Hotels & Resorts, and The Orchid Ecotel among others.

Acquisitions By Makemytrip

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Feb 2014: Acquired entire equity interest in EasyToBook.com for around $5 Mn to strengthen its travel technology stack and improve its hotel offerings in Europe.

Nov. 2012: Acquired majority stake in Thailand-based hotels aggregator ITC Group for $3.2 Mn. Also acquired South East Asia-focused Hotel Travel Group for $25 Mn.

Nov. 2011: Acquired Delhi based MyGuestHouse

Aug. 2011: Acquired majority stake of 76.6% for $18.5 Mn in online travel meta search engine iXigo along with SAIF Partners

Feb 2011: Aquired 79% stake in Singapore-based Luxury Tours & Travel Pte Limited (LTT) for around $3 Mn.

MMT reported a 22.9 per cent rise in revenues less service costs or net revenues to $35.1 Mn for the third quarter that ended December 31, 2014 over the year-ago period.

Of the total net revenue, about 45 per cent was contributed by hotels and packages. The net revenue in this category increased by 43.5 per cent to $15.7Mn in the quarter ended December 31, 2014 from $10.9 Mn in the same period last year. This was due to an increase in gross bookings of 34.7 per cent and a 46.5 per cent increase in the number of transactions year over year, driven by strong growth in its standalone hotel booking business, partially aided by its acquisition of Easytobook Group in February 2014.

“In the fiscal Q3 of 2015, MakeMyTrip delivered strong operating and financial results despite some limited service disruption in the Indian domestic air industry in December,” said Deep Kalra, chairman and group CEO. MMT has revised the range of fiscal year 2015 annual revenue less service cost guidance with a growth of 30-31 per cent, which is in the range of $137 Mn to $138 Mn, the company said.

In October MMT had given net revenue guidance of $136 Mn to $138 Mn with growth range of 28-30%.

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