India-based online travel booking website Cleartrip has acquired Saudi Arabia’s Flyin in an attempt to bolster its proposition in the kingdom as travel demand grows, the company has announced.
Cleartrip CEO Stuart Crighton declined to confirm the value of the acquisition, however it is estimated to be worth close to $70 million, according to various sources including Indian news outlet Livemint.
Founded in 2006 in India, Cleartrip expanded into Dubai in 2012. Its Middle East business unit accounts for $600 million out of $1.5 billion in sales, according to Crighton, however it is in Saudi Arabia that the company needs to do more.
“We doubled down growth in the Middle East in recent years but we hadn’t done well in Saudi Arabia and that was very important to us,” he told Arabian Business in an interview after the announcement of the acquisition.
“As a brand Flyin has made a lot of progress among GCC nationals, in Egypt, and has high penetration rates with Arabic speakers at large which has eluded us. Now we’ll have a significant market share,” he added.
Crighton said further acquisitions were something the company could look to as it attempts to grow in an increasingly competitive space where diversified competitors such as Wego, Trivago, Tajawal and others, each target a unique customer.
“It is a very competitive market and there are companies from the traditional to the meta-service online agencies. However, we’re a full service agency with a significant market share,” he said.
“There are a number of market opportunities in terms of acquisitions that we see would benefit a larger player like Cleartrip. Of course they depend on how those companies would fit with us based on technology, revenue and market opportunity.”For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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