Naspers-backed online travel and transportation firm Ibibo Group is foraying into the budget and alternative accommodation space by launching a new platform, GoStays.
The group, owner of properties such as Goibibo.com, an online travel aggregator, and redBus.in, a bus ticketing platform, plans the launch in the next two or three weeks.
Ashish Kashyap, founder and group chief executive, told Business Standard they have a 300-member team on ground, to bring more properties online. The company plans to start with 500 to 600 listings and hopes to ramp up to 10,000 properties within the next two to three months, said Kashyap.
“We will utilise the existing technology and data analytics tools from Goibibo on the new platform as well,” said Kashyap. He said GoStays would provide alternative accommodation options such as home stays, lodges and on-house boats.
The company recently launched Ryde, a ride sharing application, similar to the model followed by Blah Blah Car that made its entry into the country earlier this year. The application allows private car owners to share their journey with others going to the same destination, for a price. Kashyap said 20,000 people were already enrolled on the platform.
The company in which Nasper has been an investor for seven years is operationally doing well, with most of its properties making profits. “We are not into warehousing, or deliveries or returns,” said Kashyap. He did not indicate if they were looking at an initial public offer of equity.
The group currently clocks transactions worth Rs 1,000 crore a month. Around 3.2 million buy monthly from its platform, said Kashyap — primarily hotels, air and bus tickets.
"In 2014-15, overall growth has been around 90 per cent over the previous year, with the hotels business being the main driver, growing over five times," he said.
Asked which division contributed the most in sales value, Kashyap disclosed: "Air tickets is approximately 50 per cent of our sales but the fastest growth segment is hotels, followed by the bus segment."
Adding: "Our focus is to organise accommodation, transportation and connect it to travellers." He said they were "open to both organic and inorganic" options for expansion.