Ixigo, online travel site backed by Sequoia Capital and Elevation Capital, latest to join IPO bandwagon

Ixigo aims to raise up to Rs 1,800 crore. Rival Easemytrip’s Rs 510-crore IPO was launched on March 19, 2021 and got listed at Rs 212.25 on the NSE, a 13.5 per cent premium to its issue price of Rs 187.

April 05, 2021 / 06:41 PM IST

Weeks after the market debut of Easemytrip.com, leading online travel marketplace Ixigo, which is backed by a raft of  investors such as Sequoia Capital, Elevation Capital (formerly called SAIF Partners) and MakeMyTrip, is planning to kick off plans for an initial public offering (IPO) in FY 22,  people with knowledge of the matter told Moneycontrol.

“Gurgaon based Ixigo is a dominant player in the train utility and ticketing category and is looking to kick off IPO plans within a few weeks. The recent Easemytrip listing has put the online travel segment under focus and Ixigo is looking to raise Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 1,800 crore via the proposed listing,” one of the persons cited above said, adding that the issue size may vary later.

The Easemytrip IPO was subscribed 159.33 times (70.40 times in the retail category, 77.53 times in QIB, and 382.21 times in the NII category).  The Rs 510-crore IPO was launched on March 19, 2021 and got listed at Rs 212.25 on the NSE, a 13.5 per cent premium to its issue price of Rs 187.

“The plan is to provide a partial exit to the company’s investors and also facilitate growth capital. Preliminary discussions have begun with investment bankers who are likely to be soon shortlisted,” a second person told Moneycontrol.

According to the website of the AI-based Ixigo, venture capital fund Fosun RZ Capital and Micromax are also investors in the firm.

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“Other than its strength in the trains segment, Ixigo is a challenger in the flights and buses category and has 36 million monthly unique users across all its apps and the website. It is currently at an annualised gross booking value run rate of Rs 5,000 crore and has bounced back to nearly 2x of pre-Covid levels,” added a third person. A fourth person also confirmed the listing plans of Ixigo.

"The IPO will be a mixture of primary and secondary issue of shares. The firm, which is focused on the next billion users needs growth capital to push the pedal harder," a fifth person told Moneycontrol.

All the five persons spoke to Moneycontrol on the condition of anonymity.

Moneycontrol is awaiting responses to email queries sent to Ixigo, Sequoia Capital and MakeMyTrip and will update this article as soon as it hears from them.

The total primary investment raised by Ixigo to date is around $22 million and the fast growing platform clocks over 5 million downloads every month. According to a recent tweet by co-founder Aloke Bajpai, for FY20, the cash flow positive Ixigo registered a “net revenue of Rs 153 crores ( 35 per cent YoY growth) and an EBIDTA loss of Rs 5.4 crore (87 percent profitability improvement).” Interestingly, in a Covid-19 ravaged year when the entire segment felt the heat, Ixigo’s FY21 revenues are higher than FY20, Bajpai added in a subsequent tweet.

Ixigo, which also competes with the likes of Yatra and Booking.com, helps customers to organise, book and track trips and provides real-time prices and availability for flights, trains, buses, cabs, hotels and destinations. It was launched in 2007 by Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar. In February, it announced the acquisition of Bengaluru-based online train discovery and booking platform Confirmtkt.

On March 1, 2021, Moneycontrol was the first to report that US retail behemoth Walmart promoted Flipkart which is eyeing a mega initial public offer later this year is in discussions to pick up a controlling stake in online travel portal Cleartrip and bolster its presence in the intensely competitive segment.

“ OTAs are witnessing a mini comeback after a pandemic induced lull in 2020, though one may see some sluggishness again with the second wave of infections. These platforms continue to focus on domestic travel and local experiences to cater to the pent up demand for travel and are likely to see more of it with the school summer break and the trend of “work from anywhere” for the next few months,” says Ankur Pahwa, National Leader, e-commerce and consumer internet, EY India.

Elaborating further on the outlook for the sector, Pahwa added, “ International travel continues to remain a challenge for some time to come with varying restrictions in host countries and one can expect a bounce back in the last quarter of 2021 post successful vaccination drives across the globe.”
Ashwin Mohan
first published: Apr 5, 2021 05:28 pm

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