Returning investor Recruit Holdings backs airline retail marketplace Mystifly

Returning investor Recruit Holdings backs airline retail marketplace Mystifly
L-R: Rajeev Kumar, CEO, Bharat Goyal, CTO & Pawan Kesarwani, CFO
14 Jul, 2020

Singapore and Bengaluru-based travel technology firm Mystifly Consulting India has raised $3.3 million (about Rs 25 crore at current exchange rates) in a bridge funding round, dubbed a pre-Series B round, from Tokyo headquartered private equity firm Recruit Holdings.

Recruit also infused an undisclosed amount in the company in 2016 as part of its Series A funding round. The investor has bet on other Indian companies such as mobile app analytics startup CleverTap and fintech firm PayMate as well. 

Mystifly said that the capital from the latest round will help it tide over the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and enable it to strengthen its product and technology.

Founded by Rajeev Kumar in 2009, the company provides a full stack application program interface (API) platform to help businesses maximise their online travel business capability. It offers air retailing services to businesses such as online and offline travel agencies, travel management companies, loyalty and concierge firms, and aggregators.

“The era of airline retailing and efficient payments has begun and the current crisis has made this transition faster than anticipated. Airlines will significantly improve their bottom line by saving on payment costs and becoming new age retailers as they can make more relevant offers, including services with higher margins than just the flight seat price,” co-founder Kumar said.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown adversely impacted the travel and tourism sector, with the industry coming to a near standstill for weeks, before partially resuming operations. 

The global aviation industry is set to lose $252 billion this year, according to a report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The Indian aviation sector specifically, which includes airlines and airports, is estimated to suffer revenue losses of upto Rs 25,000 crore, as per estimates from ratings firm CRISIL.

Online travel agency MakeMyTrip recently laid off 350 employees, while its leadership team took a 50% pay cut from April. Travel and hotel booking platform Ixigo also announced salary cuts, Cleartrip fired over 400 employees, budget hotel chain OYO let go of employees in its US office and Airbnb laid off 25% of its global employee base. 

However, Ixigo recently rolled back salary cuts, offered employee stock option plans (ESOPs) to all its staffers and announced a remote-first working strategy till the end of the year.