RedBus is one of India’s biggest success stories when it comes to Internet entrepreneurship. The online ticketing website, which makes booking bus journeys across India a cinch, has attracted a lot of attention over the years. So much so that ibiboGroup, a joint venture between South African company Naspers and Chinese software company Tencent, is in advanced talks to acquire RedBus for Rs 800 crore ($138 million), according to several reports.
MIH Group, the owner of ibibo, last year acquired a significant stake in online retailer Flipkart and the acquisition of RedBus will help boost the ticketing prowess of goibibo.com, where customers can book bus, air and train tickets. Based on the interest in RedBus, it would be safe to say that ibibo’s entry into the online ticketing business has taken off well. A possible RedBus acquisition will also help ibibo add to its existing user base.
It must be noted that Naspers’s previous investment in Internet companies in the country is independent of its businesses here. For example, ibibo’s Tradus is in direct competition to Flipkart.
The possible RedBus acquisition represents one of the largest deals for an Indian Internet company. Founded by BITS Pilani alumni Phanindra Sama, Sudhakar Pasupunuri and Charan Padmaraju, RedBus has reached great heights in just seven years. It is India's largest bus ticketing platform, issuing an average of 10 million tickets with gross sales nearing $200 million annually. Pilani Soft Labs is the holding company of Redbus. It is not yet known whether existing investors like SeedFund, Helion Venture Partners and Inventus Capital will stay on or if they will exit as part of the deal.
Publish date: June 17, 2013 6:07 pm| Modified date: January 7, 2014 11:53 am