Online travel search engine ixigo.com has acquired the intellectual property assets of Desi Backpacking Travelers Pvt Ltd, which runs budget traveler-focused online community IndianBackpacker.com, for an undisclosed amount.
As a part of the ‘acqui-hire’ deal, IndianBackpacker.com CEO Akshay Chhugani has joined ixigo (which is run by Delhi-based Le Travenues Pvt Ltd) as head of travel communities.
Acqui-hire refers to the buy-out of a company primarily for the skills and expertise of its staff, rather than for its products or services.
“Akshay has traveled extensively through India on a shoestring budget and has mastered the art of spending less and traveling more in terms of budget accommodation, destinations and experiences. At ixigo, he will be responsible to build and nurture curated communities of travelers across interest areas. We look forward to building an authentic Indian traveller community and curate deep knowledge of offbeat destinations and niche travel experiences,” said Aloke Bajpai, co-founder and CEO, ixigo.
IndianBackpacker.com is a portal for sharing first-hand experiences of backpackers across the country. It also provides the option of planning trips (travel bookings and hotel reservations) and assists in travel insurance.
“There is a clear opportunity to build a community platform that enhances engagement and provides authentic and unbiased curated content for Indian travellers. I am excited about the possibilities our shared vision unfolds,” said Chhugani.
Founded by Rajnish Kumar and Bajpai in 2007, ixigo provides search, aggregation and curated travel content across hundreds of travel sites, allowing travellers to access relevant travel information.
Recently, domestic handset manufacturer Micromax made an undisclosed investment in ixigo. In 2011, the company had raised $18.5 million in funding from SAIF Partners and NASDAQ-listed OTA MakeMyTrip. It competes with players such as Wego, Kayak, and Skyscanner.