Indian online travel platforms MakeMyTrip and Ibibo have announced a merger. According to Gadgets360, the merger is under the MakeMyTrip brand, and will result in an entity that is valued at $1.8 billion and will include Ryder, a ride sharing service by Ibibo and Rightstay, MakeMyTrip’s homestay platform. The deal, which will be concluded by December 2016, is subject to approval by regulators.

The merger is set to retain much of MakeMyTrip’s senior management with founder Deep Kalra as the Group CEO and Executive Chairman, while Rajesh Magow will remain CEO India. Ashish Kashyap, Founder and CEO Ibibo will now join the new entity as a co-founder and President. Naspers (South Africa) and Tencent (China), the joint owners of Ibibo, will become the biggest shareholders in the new entity with a 40% stake.    

Speaking to TOI Deep Kalra stated, “MakeMyTrip is strong in the air-ticketing and branded 5-4-3 star hotel-booking space, while Goibibo is strong in the budget accommodation space. One of the strategies that could play out is: A lot of bus travellers that redBus has would prefer accommodation offered by our recently launched brand Rightstay that includes villas, cottages, bungalows and apartments. You will see a lot of such interesting synergies unfolding going forward,” he said.

Gadgets360 quoted Rajesh Maglow and Ashish Kashyap who spoke about the merger. “We welcome the Ibibo team to the newly expanded MakeMyTrip family,” stated Rajesh Magow. “The combination of these two enterprises, with their deep understanding of customer preferences, will help us provide an even stronger value proposition to our users and offer further career growth opportunities for all employees,” he added.

Kashyap stated, “Since I founded Ibibo in 2007, we have innovated and grown to become one of the leading travel companies in India, providing solutions not just for travellers, but for suppliers too.” He added, “Deep, Rajesh and I saw a great opportunity to join forces, and I am excited that this merger enables all of us to continue a great journey together as the leading travel group in India.”

TOI also quoted an analyst who stated, that the combined entity will have a 60% market share 100,000 daily hotel rooms sold online in the country.

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