Travel marketplace ixigo will offer digital entertainment on its platform to target people on the move.
“We want to be relevant to a traveller throughout his/her journey, pre-, post- and during the trip. We recently started engaging with content within the app, with news, radio and games, and are also going to tie up with OTT and original content players for this," Aloke Bajpai, chief executive officer and co-founder, ixigo told Livemint.
Ixigo has already forged partnerships with digital entertainment platforms ALTBalaji and Khabri.
The major backers of ixigo include Fosun RZ Capital, Sequoia and MakeMyTrip.
“ixigo is becoming more of a transaction business now. Two-thirds of our GMV is flowing through our own platform, rather than from our partners. The growth in smaller towns such as Indore, Lucknow, Patna and Pune is at a much faster pace when compared to the metros. For instance, in some of these places, almost one-third of the city has started using our app in just a month," he said.
IIT Kanpur alumni Aloke Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar started ixigo in 2007 as an informational and metasearch platform.
Ixigo partnered with IRCTC to sell train tickets on its website in 2010 and rolled out a separate app for train passengers three years later. What helped ixigo turn around the game was its move to become a marketplace from a metasearch engine. Ixigo used to earn money when users clicked on the partners’ link (cost per click). ixigo added transactional capabilities for flight and hotel bookings in 2016, and for train tickets in early 2017.
Integrating booking engines of their partners inside ixigo’s app paid off. “Our conversion rates improved dramatically and as we scaled up, we had access to better deals. The combined effect of these two gave us good improvement in the overall monetisation per user. For the same number of users, we are doing more transactions,” Bajpai told The Passage.
Ixigo now works with around 120 travel partners. By the end of 2019 fiscal, the Gurugram-based firm expects its revenues to reach USD 25-30 million and gross transaction value to touch USD 250 million.