Companies

PE fund Emerging India buys majority stake in Mumbai-based travel firm

Purvita Chatterjee Mumbai | Updated on January 13, 2018

Varun Gupta, CEO, Goomo

Plans to start consumer-facing travel business under a new brand, Goomo

Mauritius-based PE fund Emerging India is making an entry into the travel industry by acquiring a majority stake in Mumbai-based Orbit Tours and Travels.

Rupen Vikamsey, CEO, Orbit Tours and Travels, said: “Emerging India has picked up a majority stake in our company and we will continue to operate the 14 stores we own.”

The fund is estimated to have invested $180 million (₹1,200 crore) to build a hybrid model, in which Orbit will be an offline brand, along with a consumer-facing online business under a new brand name — Goomo.com.

Goomo (derived from the Hindi word Ghoomo, meaning travel) expects to become the first omni-channel technology-enabled travel company facilitating travel through an agent network and own branches. With a web and mobile presence, it aims to become one among the top three travel companies in the next three years.

Varun Gupta, CEO, Goomo, said: “We are in the process of setting up a travel tech company and will be competing with the rest of the online travel agents (OTAs). India is going to be a tough market, but we have got seed funding, and are trying for additional funding as we launch Goomo this year.”

Even though most OTAs are reeling under losses, leading to consolidation of big players such as MakeMyTrip and Goibibo recently, Goomo is ready to face the challenges in the market. “We want to focus on India as it is still a growth market,” added Gupta, a former employee of KPMG.

Orbit Tours and Travels, a 27-year-old company with a turnover of about ₹150 crore, specialises in trade fairs and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) travel, and has outlets that will continue to operate in the brick-and-mortar segment. It is currently co-branding itself with Goomo and will eventually convert into a single brand.

Going forward, Orbit is expected to operate in the B2B space, while Goomo will be the consumer-facing B2C brand. It is projecting a turnover of ₹20,000 crore in the next three years.

Goomo has set up its head office in Mumbai with almost 150 employees, and is in the process of hiring professionals. Branches have also been set up in Delhi and Bengaluru.

PE funds running travel companies in India include the likes of Thomas Cook, which is now owned by Fairfax. MakeMyTrip and Goibibo have also been funded by PE players.

Published on February 23, 2017

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