Two years after acquiring HolidayIQ, Singapore's Wego launches India-specific travel metasearch site

30 May, 2012

Singapore-based travel metasearch portal Wego has launched its sister portal for India- Wego India. The Indian unit is based out of Bangalore and is looking to grab a big bite in the Indian travel sector pie.

Wego.com was founded in 2005 by former executives of InterContinental Hotels Group, Yahoo, Priceline and ZUJI. Its investors include News Digital Media and Tiger Global, a hedge fund manager with a slew of investments in Indian Internet space. In 2010, Wego acquired VC-backed HolidayIQ.com, an India-based travel content and community site.

Wego, is positioned as a comparison tool for all kinds of travel-related searches from flights to hotels to tour packages and deals from various Indian OTAs including MakeMyTrip, Yatra and Via. It works like a platform or data aggregator wherein the results from various vendors are listed. So, users can't do the travel booking directly on Wego. Some others in the similar space include Ezeego and iXigo (which has investments from SAIF Partners and MakeMyTrip).

The new Indian site is an exact twin of the parent site with the same look and feel and presentation. The one differentiation that is there between both portals is the inclusion of HolidayIQ hyperlink on the Indian site. The aim, as we see, is to cross-promote both the brands where when one visits HolidayIQ he/she can find Wego links there too. Though not directly visible, customers are redirected to Wego if they click on the tab which says "check prices".

"HolidayIQ is more of a content site and they have a lot of content for people who are planning their holidays. When they want to book that is when they come to Wego. So, this way there were lots of synergies between the companies. We will be giving a lot of value add to the customers coming to either site," said Jackson Fernandez, general manager, Wego India.

Wego has integrated a multiple language platform in the Indian site with browsing made possible in Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil and Bengali.

"Wego has seen very strong growth in the last year as India's travelers have looked for better hotel rates and airfares online, particularly for their domestic travel. The conditions all favor the launch of this dedicated travel comparison site," according to Fernandez.

The office at Bangalore has an employee strength of about 170 which includes the team of HolidayIQ as well. Fernandes said the firm is looking to hire more people in India.