Flipkart to acquire online travel portal Cleartrip

Flipkart to acquire online travel portal Cleartrip
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
15 Apr, 2021

Walmart-backed ecommerce company Flipkart has announced that it will acquire Mumbai-based online travel platform Cleartrip to strengthen its digital commerce offerings. 

Flipkart, a statement said, will acquire 100% of Cleartrip’s shareholding. However, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Cleartrip will continue to operate as a separate brand, retaining all employees, and work closely with Flipkart to further develop travel technology solutions, the statement said. 

“Cleartrip is synonymous with travel for many customers, and as we diversify and look at new areas of growth, this investment will help strengthen our wide range of offerings for customers. We welcome the Cleartrip team with their deep industry knowledge and technology capabilities to the Flipkart Group and look forward to providing deeper value and travel experiences for customers together,” Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart Group, said. 

Flipkart, in an attempt to add travel to its ecommerce ecosystem, had partnered with ixigo in 2019 to offer the latter’s services for flight bookings on its platform. 

Cleartrip was founded in 2006 by Stuart Crighton, Hrush Bhatt and Matthew Spacie, who has exited the company. It offers a platform for booking hotels, flights and trains. In 2016, it launched Cleartrip Local, a platform that offers curated activities and experiences. 

The company entered the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market after it acquired Saudi-Arabia based Flyin in 2018.  

Cleartrip has thus far raised close to $70 million in funding from multiple investors, including Concur Technologies, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DAG Ventures and Gund Investment Corporation. 

According to media reports, the company had laid off close to 100 employees from its hotel booking, flight booking and other functions in 2018. According to a Times of India report, it let go of 400-500 employees in May last year as the pandemic brought the travel and tourism industry to a near standstill.