Mobile travel start-up ixigo set to enter inter-city cabs aggregation space with Rutogo acquisition

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ixigo, India’s leading mobile travel search marketplace, has announced that it has completed the acquisition of Square Hoot Hikes Pvt Ltd, the parent company of Rutogo, an inter-city cabs aggregator, for an undisclosed amount. As part of the deal, the Rutogo team will be joining ixigo to scale its fast-growing cabs app by building a marketplace for inter-city taxi owners and vendors.

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Launched in 2007 in Gurgaon by Aloke Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar, ixigo connects over 60 million travellers with content and deals from over 25,000 online, offline travel and hospitality businesses. The start-up aggregates and compares real-time travel information, prices and availability for flights, trains, buses, cabs, hotels, packages and destinations.

The acquisition fits well with ixigo’s overall strategy of providing comprehensive choice across intra-city and inter-city taxi booking options. Speaking on the same lines, Aloke Bajpai, Co-Founder & CEO, ixigo, said, “Rutogo’s team is passionate about the tourist taxi segment, and they had made considerable progress in building a marketplace with nearly 100 taxi vendors across India within a few months of operation. We will be launching outstation taxis in the coming weeks, and will also be opening up the cabs marketplace and partner with other booking apps in the inter-city taxis space shortly. With flights, trains, buses & cabs, we are now the most comprehensive transportation search in India.”

A few months earlier, ixigo had launched the first Indian meta-search app for cabs on the Google Play Store. ixigo cabs app allows travellers to search across app-based taxi providers such as Ola, Uber and Easycabs. With over 100,000 downloads, as of date, ixigo cabs is now the fastest growing app in ixigo’s portfolio, and is set to debut on iOS in a week’s time.

Commenting on the deal, Aneesh Rayancha, Co-founder, Rutogo, said, “ixigo shares our vision of becoming the leading marketplace for local and outstation cabs. We are quite enthusiastic about joining forces with the most innovative mobile business in the travel and transportation category”.

The app was earlier limited to intra-city taxis and autos transport, but with Rutogo, ixigo will expand into the inter-city tourist segment which fits well with its audience of travellers. Venus Dhuria, Co-founder, Rutogo, added further, “The market potential for app-based taxi booking is estimated to be worth $9 billion, and inter-city cab bookings will form a majority of that, given the higher value of such transactions.  We are confident that with ixigo, we will build India’s leading cabs search marketplace with the biggest inventory of intra and inter-city cabs inside one app.”

This is the second acquisition in the last one month for ixigo, which earlier announced that it had acqui-hired ‘The Indian Backpacker’. Micromax, India’s leading smartphone manufacturer recently invested in ixigo to bundle travel services natively into their new range of Android phones, a move that will help ixigo go from its 6.5 million monthly active users to over 30 million monthly active users by the end of 2016.