Kahini Chakraborty – Mumbai
With an aim to accelerate its growth plans in the India market, Yatra.com has raised approximately US$ 120 million till date, as part of its growth equity round. This includes the latest development wherein the company has raised fresh capital infusion of Rs 140 crore funding from new investors IDG Ventures and Vertex Venture Management Pte. When asked whether the funding could be seen as a pre-IPO round for the company’s plan to go public, Dhruv Shringi, co-founder and CEO, Yatra.com told Express TravelWorld, “Going public is a part of a new journey and a maturing step in an organisation’s lifecycle. As the current market conditions looks more positive, the company’s business has the scale and size to go public anytime, it’s not the issue of us not being ready, it’s an issue of us deciding at what point of time do we want to take the next step. We want to time it perfectly and we might want to put certain internal metrics in place before we decide to leap forward. When we get a clear visibility on the benchmark we have set for ourselves and when we feel the market is receptive enough we will decide to go public. For us it’s not a question of ‘if’, it’s a question of ‘when’.”
On the question of any acquisitions that the company could be looking at, Shringi replied, “We are actively looking for opportunities on the technology side, especially in mobile technology. There are also ancillary services that we do consider, but mobile technology is something that we are looking at exponentially growing. India itself is a large enough opportunity so for us we rather concentrate here then expand geographically. Our focus at Yatra.com has always been to go deeper into India as we believe that there is a lot of upside, as far as the Indian travel market is concerned. We want to be the dominant player in this market but its unlikely that we would consider an acquisition outside India.”
About 70 per cent of their revenue comes from flights and 30 per cent from hotels and packages. With the recent capital infusion, the company will be using the funds to strengthen its position in the domestic holidays and hotels segment. Yatra.com already provides reservation facility for more than 15,000 hotels across 450 cities in India and over 200,000 hotels around the world. “Our plan is to expand our reach to atleast 25,000 domestic hotels by 2015, and continue to be the OTA with the most number of hotels on offer in India,” he mentioned. The other part where the funding will be used will be on the mobile front. “We want to enhance our product offerings on this front. We will be adding new lines of business on the apps and will be expanding penetration of the apps. Another aspect where we want to focus is to increase our brand presence,” he added.