redBus Acquisition Details : INR 800 Crores ($138 million). Few Open Questions

India’s first Internet success story has been written (and shuts those mouths that keep asking ‘where are the exits in India’). redBus, the travel booking portal has been acquired by South Africa based Naspers group, confirmed sources tells us.

Update: The news is confirmed.

Also read : Startup Lessons from redBus : Bharat is a market.

Naspers runs ibibo group in India and earlier invested in Flipkart. Note that Naspers investments are independent of its India operations and in some of the cases are often competing with their India operations (for example ibibo’s Tradus competes with Flipkart).

As far as redBus acquisition is concerned, the biggest reason for Naspers to acquire the company (the deal is not yet confirmed) is the fact that ibibo’s foray into travel has taken off well and consolidation will help them target massive userbase and importantly, better margins (read our earlier taken on Why OTAs need to consolidate).

Phani, redBus Cofounder
Phani, redBus Cofounder

redBus & Naspers. An Open Question

Post acquisition, will redBus operate as an independent brand? We certainly hope so.

But the ‘open’ question is whether Naspers will keep the redBus APIs open? We aren’t sure. In fact, if getting market share is the prime reason for redBus acquisition, Naspers probably will keep others off the API/Inventory.

And that probably means disaster for a few OTAs, unless the partnership agreement comes to their rescue.

What are your thoughts?

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