Ebix acquires Business Travels, logistics marketplace Routier
Robin Raina, chairman and CEO of Ebix Group

Nasdaq-listed software firm Ebix Inc. has struck two more acquisitions in India, buying Business Travels Pvt. Ltd to expand its Via travel business and picking up a 67% stake in Delhi-based Routier, a marketplace for trucking logistics. Both have been purchased through India-based subsidiary EbixCash, a digital payment unit which claims to be the largest remittance exchange in the country.

Cloud-based Routier is the first startup where Ebix has made a strategic investment, the US-based company said in a statement. Founded by Ankur Dahiya and Adwait Vikram Singh from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and Harvard Law School, respectively, Routier uses data analytics and artificial intelligence for its cloud-based logistics marketplace and counts Coca-Cola, Asian Paints, and Samsung among its clients.

Separately, with the acquisition of Business Travels, Ebix has appointed the target’s owner Praveen Chugh as the chief operating officer of Via’s agency sales. Via, acquired by Ebix in September last year, is a distributor of transport ticketing, accommodation reservation, packaged tours, corporate travel management, travel ancillaries, retail and financial services.

In Via, Chugh would recruit domain-specific travel sales executives, besides opening up new travel locations across the country, the company statement said.

Chugh, who started his career by joining the hotel industry in 1974, founded TSI Yatra Pvt. Ltd in 1999. He is presently the president of Travel Agents Federation of India, besides being the vice-chairman of the World Travel Agents Association Alliance.

Ebix, a software service provider to the financial sector, e-commerce services and healthcare industries, has been on an acquisition spree in the country.

The company's recent investments include Centrum Direct Ltd, the foreign exchange services arm of Centrum Capital Ltd, which it bought for about $175 million (Rs 1,140 crore) in April this year.

In July, it acquired Pune-headquartered lending software company Indus Software Technologies Pvt. Ltd for $29 million. The company also acquired 60% stake in Indian e-learning company Smartclass for $8 million (Rs 52 crore) in April.

The firm hit the headlines in India after it acquired digital payments company ItzCash in May last year and followed it up with the acquisition of online-to-offline travel agency Via in October 2017.

In an interaction with VCCircle in November last year, Robin Raina, chairman, president and chief executive at Ebix Inc., said the firm will acquire more companies and that its India business can touch $500 million in three years. He added that Ebix India will generate at least $200 million in revenue by 2018.

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