India isn’t only producing record numbers of startup unicorns in 2021 — there’s also a veritable queue of startups readying to go public.
Travel booking startup Ixigo has become the latest Indian startup that’s set to start trading on the stock markets. Ixigo has filed its Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) with market regulator Sebi to raise Rs 1,600 crore via an initial public offer. According to the DRHP, the IPO will have a primary component of Rs 750 crore and an offer for sale component of Rs 850 crore.
The issue will facilitate a partial exit for investors Elevation Capital and Micromax, and the proceeds will also be used for organic and inorganic growth initiatives and general corporate purposes.
Ixigo was founded all the way back in 2007 by Aloke Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar. Both were gradautes of IIT Kanpur, and had several years of work experience when they founded Ixigo. Ixigo helps customers book flight, bus tickets and trips from 120+ travel suppliers and OTAs. The startup is the largest Indian OTA in the online train bookings segment, and claims to have a 42% marketshare among rail booking on OTAs and distributors. Ixigo had recently acquired bus booking company AbhiBus, which was the second largest bus booking OTA in India, to shore up its bus booking vertical. Ixigo says it is the third largest flight OTA in India with a 12 percent market share.
Interestingly, Ixigo has turned profitable just ahead of its IPO. Ixigo posted a profit of Rs 7.5 crore in FY21, compared to a loss of Rs 26 crore in FY20, while it reported total income of Rs 138 crore, up from Rs 112 crore in FY20.
Travel booking is a crowded space, and Ixigo has tried to stand out with a clean and clutter-free UI and the ease of use of its products. The company also uses innovative growth hacks, with some of its travel videos notching up millions of likes and shares on social media platforms. There’s a long history of Indian travel booking companies going public — MakeMyTrip had listed on the NASDAQ in 2010, and Easemytrip, Yatra and Booking.com all trade on the stock markets. There seem to be tailwinds in place for a listing the space at the moment — EaseMyTrip’s stock has more than doubled in value since its IPO in March this year.
Ixigo joins a growing list of Indian startups that have chosen to trade on the national stock markets. Zomato had become the first Indian startup unicorn to go public last month, and since then Paytm, Nykaa, CarTrade and PolicyBazaar have all submitted their documents with the regulators for a listing. For the longest time, India’s startup unicorns were criticized for their sky-high private valuations, but with a bevy of companies now going public and being open to being scrutinized by the investing community at large, India’s startup ecosystem appears to have well and truly come of age.