What is Ixigo?
All of us love taking a break from the daily busy life and going on a vacation to rejuvenate ourselves. Regardless of whether it’s with family, companions, or completely all alone, traveling and seeing new places will give you great experiences. But it’s not such a pleasant ordeal when it comes to the difficulty of transportation, lodgings and the disarray? Imagine a way to dispose of all those worries! That objective is precisely what all the travel apps bring to you. There are different such companies in India, and one among them is ixigo.
Ixigo (1) is a travel app that brings you the convenience of booking hotels and flight, bus or train tickets from home, thus making travel a surreal adventure. It is practically a metasearch engine helping to connect the users to a travel booking website or agent. Ixigo was founded by Aloke Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar 13 years ago in Gurgaon, India. The most significant feature of ixigo is it’s Artificial Intelligence system which gives a fulfilling experience for the user. It has an artificially intelligent chat assistant named Tara, who can help you find the best benefits.
Ixigo has a dynamic marketing, personalized suggestion for the user, information about train delay, airfare predictions, etc. Currently, they witness more than 5 lakh transactions every month, and they earn a commission on each of them. The ixigo app has an excellent fully automated customer service system that enables the user to get explanations for their queries easily through chat or call.
The beginning of ixigo
The founders of ixigo Aloke Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar were batchmates at IIT Kanpur. Later in 2006, they came up with a platform for providing the best deals on flight tickets. They had observed the increasing market for it as a result of the birth of many new airlines. They were both planning to establish a startup, and this turned out to be an ample push to do it. Within six months of their business, ixigo had 1 lakh customers on the platform.
However, the founders were expecting a certain amount of funding from several investors in India. Their business was crumbling financially due to the lack of adequate funding. It was during the same time that William Kliggpen, the founder of BAF Spectrum, had sold his enterprise to Yahoo!. He then relocated to Singapore and was planning to invest this money in upcoming startups. Aloke contacted William, and they soon shook hands for an investment scheme. The company soon witnessed a rise in its business, and the number of users was twice as much of the previous year.
Early setbacks and rising above them
After almost two years of steady growth, a well-known investor offered them funding of five million USD through a Series A round. ixigo gave in to this offer and started spending abundantly on marketing in hopes of this future investment. However the firm withdrew their offer, and this led to a significant difficulty for ixigo to get back on their feet. The company had to downsize their team and cut down on the expenses. The employees stuck together and came up with a unanimous decision to accept a 50% cut in their salaries.
By 2011, ixigo had a stable growth but was now hesitant to accept more investors from the country. They finally had more than 1.3 million customers every month on the ixigo app. Now they try to put aside less time for raising funds and focus more on their teamwork. Ixigo believes that it is the unit and transparency among its employees that holds the company together.
Services offered by Ixigo
After ixigo launched its first flight commodities in 2007, it expanded its services to other areas. Presently, you can depend on ixigo for all kinds of travel facilities that you need for your journey. While the website encompasses all the services, ixigo has three different apps available on Google play store depending on the purpose, namely, ixigo flight bookings, ixigo trains, and ixigo cabs. The ixigo trains app sees the highest activity among them due to the popular demand for trains while it is the ixigo flight booking app that reaches the highest margins. The most prominent assistances delivered by ixigo are:
- Ixigo flights – It is one of the most basic services provided by the company. Ixigo flight booking is a straightforward procedure, and they also render various offers and deals. All you need to do is type in your destination, date, and class preference, and ixigo searches through numerous flights to find the best choice for you.
- Ixigo train – Booking a ticket for a train is now easier than ever before through ixigo trains. You can search for the train by name or number and view the PNR status. The ixigo app also has a seat calendar, station status, running status, etc. The ixigo trains app was launched in 2014.
- Ixigo hotels – This service helps you to find the hotel of your preference during your travel. Ixigo allows booking for a plethora of hotels among all major cities in the country. You can search according to the destinations, the hotels near you or the trending ones.
- Ixigo bus – You can also book bus tickets effortlessly through ixigo. They provide various cashback offers and discounts too. The ixigo app included booking for hotels and buses in 2008.
Fundings and investments
After much reluctance to close a deal with other investors, ixigo finally accepted an investment of 18.5 million dollars from SAIF Partners and MakeMyTrip in 2011. Later in 2015, ixigo received an undisclosed amount of funding from Micromax informatics, the smartphone brand. Ixiho conducted a series B funding led by Venture Capital firm Sequoia Capital India and Fosun RZ Capital in 2017 in which they received an amount of 15 million USD.
Recently in April 2020, Ixigo was to raise 25 crore rupees from Amar Ujjala Limited, an Indian media enterprise. Since the pandemic and the consecutive lockdown has affected the business of ixigo, they have been cutting down on the payment of their employees to sustain the firm. This recent funding will be of help for their necessary expenses and capital investment during a time when the future seems unpredictable.