Micromax, India's smartphone handset player today announced that it has made a strategic investment in ixigo, India's leading mobile travel search & marketplace.
Popular for its innovative travel apps, ixigo helps Indian travelers plan their trips, find the best train & bus services, book cheapest flights, cabs, hotels and more. It will also give ixigo a reach of over 30 million incremental users over the next year.
Talking about the investment, Rahul Sharma, Co-founder, Micromax Informatics said, "Our vision is to seamlessly integrate innovative services into smart devices to create an ecosystem that is valuable for our users. We are really impressed with ixigo's talented team & its mobile technology."
He added, "We look forward to working closely with them to build on-demand and one-click travel experiences for Micromax consumers. We will be announcing more such partnerships over the next few months to accelerate our journey into services."
Kumar Shah, Head of Strategy and M&A, Micromax Informatics, said, "Travel and transportation is one of the most important & frequent use-cases for mobile users and we are excited to partner with ixigo to create a deeply integrated & embedded experience for our consumers."
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He continued, "We love ixigo's passion for making the lives of Indian travelers simpler by aggregating meaningful content & building intuitive experiences that save people's time and money. This is our first growth-stage investment and we look forward to partnering with exciting ventures from around the world to improve the experience of Micromax consumers."
Aloke Bajpai, CEO & co-founder, ixigo said - "We share a common vision of a connected ecosystem of travellers who can access & consume travel content ubiquitously on their phone and compare & book across a bouquet of travel service providers seamlessly."
He further added, "80% of our travel & transportation queries and 50% of our transactions currently originate on mobile devices. This partnership with Micromax, the leading smartphone OEM in India, will strengthen our market leadership in mobile travel services for middle class users. We expect to quadruple our mobile user-base in the next 12 months."
Micromax had announced last month that it will be making investments of 0.5-20 million dollars in over 20 startups in the coming year.
For this objective, Micromax has also set up an M&A team which has been actively sourcing and working with startups across major technology markets such as Silicon Valley, Europe, Israel and India to bring in the best products and capabilities.
ixigo aims to provide relevant travel services to the next 300 million smartphone users, and has recently entered the budget hotels, packages & cabs segments.
It plans to use this investment for expanding its product & technology team and to add 25,000 small and mid-sized travel service providers to its marketplace offering, making ixigo the most comprehensive platform for comparing and buying travel services on mobile.