The latest buzz in the deal market is that ibiboGroup, a joint venture between South Africa’s Naspers and Chinese Internet company Tencent is in advanced talks to acquire Redbus, India’s bus ticketing company.
“The deal is close to completion,” said a source. The deal, which values Redbus at over Rs
610 cr 800 crores, will be the largest ever among India’s internet companies. ibiboGroup is owned by MIH group-the Internet arm of Naspers and the Chinese Internet company Tencent.
Redbus did not respond to an e-mail sent by NextBigWhat at the time of writing. Phanindra Sama, the CEO& Co-Founder of Redbus said that there are many rumors going around and that he could not comment on it.
redBus cofounder, Phanindra Sama has updated his title on his Facebook profile to ‘Former Co-Founder/CEO’. Plus, we expect the announcement to happen on June 25th, the day when Naspers will announce its quarterly report.
Updated : The title shows Phani as Co-Founder/CEO, sans the ‘Former’ tag. We hope this is a Facebook bug.
“Redbus was in the market to raise funds for over a year. They came very close to raising another round, but the valuation was too steep at the time,” said an investment banker who did not want to be named. Earlier reports had indicated that the company was looking to raise about $20 million from private equity players.
We have reached out to Redbus for comments on the acquisition and will update the post when we have conformation. Last year, the MIH group had acquired a 51% stake in Gurgaon based Tek Travels, a B2B travel portal called Travel boutique online. The consumer facing Redbus is likely to be a good fit.
Redbus, founded in 2006 by BITS Pilani Alumni Phanindra Sama, quickly grew to become one of India’s largest ticketing companies. In 2011, the company, had raised $6.5 million in a series C round from Helion Venture Partners, SeedFund and Inventus Capital Partners.
Why redBus? Why Travel?
We earlier wrote an analytical piece on What’s NextBigWhat for the OTA industry and we believe that consolidation is the only way to forward.
There is hardly any margin left in the flight booking and most of the players are either getting into travel packages or selling bus tickets.
At the same time, the bus ticketing services are finding it difficult to scale up massively and comprehensiveness will drive more moolah for everybody in the industry.
Key question: What about the cultural fit of the two companies? redBus vs. Ibibo?
Watch redBus founder, Phanindra Sama share the redBus journey @UnPluggd, India’s Biggest Startup Conference