redBus.in Bus Ticket Booking Site is Acquired by Ibibo Group

On 22nd June 2013, as the result of an unexpected move, ibibo group, a subsidiary of Naspers Ltd [a South Africa based media group] acquired Pilani Soft Labs Pvt. Ltd, which runs the bus ticket booking site redBus.in. The deal amount is yet to disclose.

It was founded by Phanindra Sama, Sudhakar Pasupunuri and Charan Padmaraju in 2006, came to top by selling tickets worth more than Rs.600 crore on over 10,000 bus routes in fiscal 2012. Its revenue that year was Rs.350 crore.

While air ticket and hotel room booking were the core areas which ibibo focused, the acquisition of redBus will give them an added advantage and another customer base who do not travel by air. Company sources revealed that the redBus will run independently, with no changes in its core team.

In terms of returns, redBus is far ahead in the competition, while its competitors makemytrip.com and yatra.com couldn’t earn much popularity. The ibibo officials said Naspers is known for acquiring emerging business brands all over the world.Under the supervision of Mr Alok Goel, a former Google employee, redBus launched windows and Android app, earlier in this February.

Investment bankers say the acquisition is an affirmation of the growing acceptance of Indian consumer Internet companies globally.

“This transaction shows that Indian Internet companies can attract buyers from overseas,” said Deepak Srinath, director, Allegro Capital Advisors, an investment bank.

The ibibo official Mr. Ashish Kashyap said in a statement that they were working with redBus and were witnessing traction growth on a daily basis.

“We realized that if we wanted to scale with a multiplier effect in the bus ticket space, M&A was the way out. We could build something like this on our own but redBus has a network effect due to its relationship with bus owners and operators and breaking that is difficult,” he added.
The other assets of ibibo group includes goibibo.com and TravelBoutiqueOnline.
Investors believe that the success of redBus will create a shift in Indian start up’s primary aims, that they may change from using conceptual models to importing successful US models.

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