Giftxoxo, a Bangalore-based online gifting platform, has acqui-hired BookMyInterest, an online marketplace for hobbies and extra activities. Post acquisition, two of the 10 members team at BookMyInterest including one of the co-founder Navin, will join Giftxoxo team.
With this acqui-hire, Giftxoxo is bidding on the potential vendor base built by BookMyInterest in hobbies and activities space in Bangalore, along with the strong experience background of founders. For instance, Navin has been very active in adventure sports, Marshal arts, etc.
“This experience along with what company has done in the last couple of months would bring us lot of traction in terms of both the supply side as well as consumer side,” said Manoj Aggarwal, Co-founder, Giftxoxo.
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Since the launch of its Beta Web version in February this year, BookMyInterest has emerged as one of the leading search facilitators of verified and rated service providers catering to various interests & hobbies. It has a vast database of activities and experiences, from cooking classes to fitness programmes, hikes and expeditions to dance classes.
Giftxoxo was founded in 2012 by Sumit Khandelwal, Manoj Agarwal, Abhishek Kumar and Kushal Agrawal. It is into experience and activities space since last four years. They have two different business units viz. giftxoxo which is into gifting activities and another is mobile app Frogo, wherein a customer can browse through various interesting things they can do around their place and can later book it.
As said by Manoj, curated experiences and activities make up a large market in India. There are also large companies such as Cleartrip, Bookmyshow, etc., trying to get a pie of this market. “Overall this experience and activities market is growing up well. And I am sure that in next couple of years, it will become one of the key markets from ecommerce perspective,” he added.
With a current team of 150 people, the portal did around INR 40 crore revenue last year, in FY 2016, and projections for the coming financial year are 100 crores. It is currently having pan-India presence but looking to target top 10-15 cities in India.
Manoj also talked about the challenges he faced during the initial phase. “Unlike businesses like Flipkart where the concept was already established offline, in our case this concept actually doesn’t existed in the offline world. If somebody wanted to do a pottery class or do a horse riding tour, there were no offline shops to book these. Bringing this entire concept online and helping consumer and suppliers understand and convince to get along with us was quite a challenge.”
Last year, Giftxoxo had acqui-hired Yipeedo, a recommendation engine that assists city dwellers to discover and book leisure activities. In January 2016, it had acquired Actizone, an online portal to discover extra-curricular activities, for an undisclosed amount.