Exclusive: India’s Wings Travels raising $15m for Asia ops; close to an acquisition

Close on the heels of its acquisition of Bookmycab in March, travel and transport firm Wings Travels is close to acquiring another startup, this time in the staff transportation technology space, the Pune-based company’s Founder Director, Arun Kharat told DEALSTREETASIA.

The company competes with the likes of Meru and Carzonrent.

While refraining from disclosing the name and financial details, Kharat said “Discussions and negotiations are already in progress and we should be able to close the same within 60 days as the trials are on.”

The company is in the process of raising $15 million from global venture capital funds, however, the acquisition will be paid for through its internal accruals. The company has appointed BDO India LLP as a consultant to help raise the funds, which will be through promoter stake dilution.

“The funding is likely to be closed in the next few weeks. The proceeds will be used within 90 days for our overseas setup, advertising, promotion and marketing,” said Kharat.

The company has already started operating its rent-a-cab app in Thailand and Myanmar. It soon plans to launch its services in Vietnam, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Mauritius, where it has acquired regulatory approvals.

Commenting on the competition from local players in the southeast Asian market, Kharat said, “The plan to compete with the local competition would be in terms of service. Also, our main focus would be technology, where we would be partnering and providing technology to these local players. We plan to integrate them to work together and earn 30-40 per cent more than their regular income with use of our technology and marketing.”

Founded in 2001, Wings Travels primarily offered staff transport services to business process outsourcing firms. At present, it operates in Mumbai, Pune, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Nagpur, Chandigarh and Ahmedabad, among others.

In March this year, Wings Travels acquired taxi aggregator Bookmycab for an undisclosed amount. The combined entity has now been rebranded as Wings Bookmycab, run by Mumbai­-based LiveMinds Technologies Pvt Ltd, which owned Bookmycab. The acquisition was to help Wings Travels expand into the radio taxi segment and strengthen its technological capabilities.

“Bookmycab is fully integrated and owned by Wings now. It is a different vertical and we do not fall into the taxi hailing app category,” Kharat said.

Wings Travels has several brands including Wings Radio Cabs, Wings Premium and Ultra (luxury cars), Economy, Sakhi (driven by women, for women passengers), Ekab rentals, Bus Pool, Talk of the town, a quarterly magazine, Lanna Wellness, a spa in Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad and Wings Rainbow, a radio taxi service for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community in Mumbai, which will start operations next year.

“The travel and transportation space is always hot and always competitive .There are three four different verticals in this space.–car Rental, Radio cabs, Staff transportation. All these areas are very competitive in terms of cost , but the winner is always the ones with service,” said Kharat.

Also Read:

India Dealbook: HashLearn, StalkBuyLove raise funds; Wings Travels acquires Bookmycab

India Dealbook: Cambridge Innovations backs Valet Anywhere & Ourly.help; WingsTravels looks to raise $15m

Exclusive: Carzonrent to hive off self-drive arm Myles, in talks to raise PE funds