Ixigo to start app bookings with 'Ixibook' next week.New Delhi | RNW | By Riju Mehta, ET Bureau | 6 Feb, 2016, 04.53 PM IST.
Ixigo, the Gurgaon-based online travel aggregator, is set to launch the booking option 'Ixibook' on its mobile app next week. This will allow travellers to make bookings for hotels and flights on the app itself without being directed to the third party. This service will be extended to bus bookings in another month's time, and by early next month, Ixigo will initiate a one-click booking for inter-city cabs, according to Ixigo CEO and co-founder Aloke Bajpai. "The idea is to make the booking experience across multiple providers a hassle-free and seamless process rather than directing consumers to the third party website or app. We are trying to become a more vertically integrated player, where we will have a deeper integration with all our partners, so that consumers can complete the transaction within the app through Ixibook," said Bajpai. "Our entire bet is on mobile phones right now because we believe mobile usage will intensify in the next 2-3 years. Already 80% of our users are on mobiles, only 20% on Web," said Bajpai. The focus remains on mobile apps, with Ixigo Cabs, launched in April last year, one of the fastest growing segments. "It is growing at 20-25% month-on-month and is already contributing 5% to the total revenue," he added. The planned launches are a part of an aggressive "monetisation" exercise that Le Travenues Technology Pvt Ltd, the company that runs Ixigo, has taken up in the past year or so. This has been marked by the acquisition of The Indian Backpacker, a community for budget travellers and backpackers, as well as Rutogo, an inter-city cab aggregator, in 2015. It had also received investment from Micromax in June last year. The company had hired a sales team a year ago to tap into smaller businesses and hotels, and signed five new OTAs. It also tied up with Oyo Rooms, monetising from independent hotels through a marketplace model called Super Value.