Travel Portal Ixigo Has Bumper IPO Listing, Shares Rise 74% On Opening Day

The Indian stock markets have blown hot and cold over startup stocks in the recent past, but a startup seems to have finally had a real solid listing at the stock markets.

Travel portal Ixigo’s shares have risen 74 percent on their stock market debut. Ixigo’s stock had been listed at Rs. 89 per share for its IPO, but opened at a 48 percent premium of Rs. 138 per share. But the share price kept increasing through the day, hitting the 20 percent upper circuit at 11:40 pm. Ixigo’s shares thus closed at Rs. 162 per share, a stunning 74 percent increase over their IPO price, which meant that IPO investors were able to see a 74 percent gain on their investment in a single day.

While the stock would’ve brought cheer to investors who were lucky enough to be allotted Ixigo shares — the retail portion of the IPO was oversubscribed by 98 times — the results would’ve been even sweeter for the company’s founders and investors. Ixigo founders Aloke Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar had both sold shares worth Rs. 100 crore in the IPO, and each had around Rs. 200 crore of shares left in the company. That residual amount has risen to around Rs. 350 crore for each founder, which means that the two founders have seen their net worth rise by a cool Rs. 150 crore each in the matter of a day. Other investors too have seen a 74 percent jump in the value of their Ixigo shares on listing day.

This is a remarkable outcome for Ixigo, which was founded all the way back in 2007 by IIT Kanpur batchmates Aloke Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar. The duo were working in Europe, but had decided to quit and return to start a company in India. They initially founded Ixigo as a meta search engine for flight tickets, and even raised funding from OTA operator MakeMyTrip. Over the next few years, Ixigo focused on several verticals in the travel business, including train booking apps and hotel bookings. Ixigo’s train booking apps, named ConfirmTkt and and Ixigo Trains are especially popular, and help the company stand out in what’s a very crowded space. The company also had acquired bus ticket booking platform Abhibus in 2021. Ixigo today runs a suite of travel apps, and earned revenue of Rs. 501 crore in FY23. Even more impressively, it’s profitable, having registered a profit of Rs. 23 crore in the same period.

And after a 17-year-long journey, Ixigo has given its founders a substantial payday. It hasn’t come easy — Ixigo has had to battle competition both from incumbents like MakeMyTrip, as well as upstarts including EasyMyTrip, and a bevy of other players including YatraCleartrip and Ibibo. The company also had to survive the Covid onslaught, which had ground the entire travel sector to a halt. But the founders have persevered, and now managed to net themselves some very handsome returns for their efforts over the last decade and a half. And the founders’ beaming faces at the IPO is testament to having met — and beaten — all challenges along the way.