Walmart-backed e-comm giant Flipkart has acquired 100 per cent stake in Cleartrip, which is one of the oldest online travel technology companies in India. The acquisition of Cleartrip will strengthen Flipkart's digital commerce offerings for customers. As per the deal, all Cleartrip operations will be acquired by Flipkart. But, Cleartrip will continue to operate as a separate brand, retaining all employees while working closely with Flipkart "to further develop technology solutions to make travel simple for customers".
As per Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy, the deal will help Flipkart transform customer experiences through digital commerce. "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," he said.
Co-founder and CEO of Cleartrip Stuart Crighton said Cleartrip has been a pioneer in capitalising on technology to simplify the travel experience. "This product-driven focus has enabled us to become the preferred travel partner of choice for consumers in a wide range of markets in the region. We are delighted to be part of the Flipkart family."
Cleartrip is the latest addition to the list of acquisitions by the Walmart-owned Indian e-commerce major in various sectors. The acquisition of Cleartrip enhances the Flipkart group's position in India, which already has Myntra, PhonePe, eBay, Ekart, Jeeves, and Jabong and Flipkart Wholesale as its subsidiaries.
Cleartrip, on the other hand, is the leading online travel and leisure aggregator, which was founded in 2006. It specialises in comprehensive and personalised travel experience latest online solutions.
Hrush Bhatt, Matthew Spacie and Stuart Crighton founded Cleartrip in 2006 as an air travel and hotel booking aggregator. The deep jolt to travel and tourism industry on account of the coronavirus pandemic led to Cleartrip slipping into distress.
Before the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, Cleartrip faced tough competition after Naspers merged MakeMyTrip and its portfolio firm GoIbibo in 2016. Naspers then sold its stake in the company to China-based Ctrip and exited the challenging market. Cleartrip also came under pressure with other players like EaseMyTrip, Booking.com and Yatra entering the space.
With Flipkart's backing, Cleartrip will be in a position to weather the turbulent and competitive travel and tourism sector.