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Flipkart to acquire Cleartrip to diversify business
Photo Credit: Reuters

Flipkart said it has proposed to acquire travel technology company Cleartrip as the Walmart-owned ecommerce giant seeks to diversify offerings. 

The plan to acquire Cleartrip comes amidst travel restrictions in many parts of the globe in the wake of the new surge in coronavirus infections. 

Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of Flipkart Group, said that as the company works to diversify and look at new areas of growth, this investment will help strengthen a wide range of offerings for customers. 

Flipkart had previously stitched partnerships with other travel portals MakeMyTrip and Ixigo. 

The deal value at which Cleartrip will be acquired was not disclosed. Media reports said that it was a distress sale as online travel companies bore the brunt of lockdowns imposed to curtail the spread of the pandemic. 

Besides, the space was already highly competitive dominated by players such as MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Ebix, and Booking.com. 

Notably, Yatra and Ebix were set to join in a major consolidation but the merger got scrapped last year. 

As part of the transaction, Flipkart will acquire the operations of Cleartrip. The travel portal will continue to operate as a separate brand and will retain all its employees. It will work closely with Flipkart to enhance its technology solutions. 

Stuart Crighton, CEO and co-founder of Cleartrip, said that the company is excited about the positive impact this collaboration can have on customers and the travel industry in general. 

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals. 

Cleartrip was founded in 2006 by Crighton, Hrush Bhatt and Matthew Spacie, who is not with the company anymore. 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 has raised funding from Concur Technologies, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DAG Ventures and Gund Investment Corporation. 

In 2018, Cleartrip bought Saudi Arabia-based Flyin in its first cross-border acquisition

The company also strengthened its top deck over the years with the appointments of former Quikr technology head Manoj Sharma as chief technology officer and former Tata Consultancy Services executive Indroneel Dutt as chief financial officer. 

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