Flipkart is in talks to acquire Cleartrip, one of the oldest travel booking portals in India, two people in the know said, as the Walmart-owned online retailer continues to make strategic investments across sectors to strengthen its portfolio and build an ecosystem around it.
The Flipkart-Cleartrip deal, which will be a mix of cash and equity, is likely to value Cleartrip at around $40 million in what is considered to be a distress sale for the 15-year-old Mumbai firm amid the pain that the pandemic has inflicted on the travel and hospitality industry. “Talks have been on and will likely culminate in a transaction soon. The exact terms of the deal are still in the works but an announcement may come through soon. The Covid-19-caused shake-up led to the Cleartrip sale,” said a person close to the matter who did not want to be named as the talks are private.
Cleartrip’s investors include Concur Technologies, a provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions, DAG Ventures, and Gund Investment. Some of its early backers Kleiner Perkins, Sherpalo Ventures, and DFJ have exited the company. Cleartrip last raised funds in 2016 and has in all picked up about $70 million in investor capital. Sources said it was valued at around $300 million then. Founded in 2006 by Hrush Bhatt, Matthew Spacie, and Stuart Crighton, Cleartrip was positioned as a hotels and air travel booking marketplace. It has been fighting bigger competitors, such as MakeMyTrip and Goibibo, for the past decade.