ItzCash parent Ebix to acquire Indian travel agency Via.com at $75m valuation

Photo from Flickr, Flazingo Photos

US-based software firm Ebix Inc, the parent company of ItzCash Card Ltd, has acquired Bangalore-based online-offline travel agency Via.com at an enterprise value of $75 million.

The acquisition of Via expands on Ebix’ distribution network to over 224,000 in South East of Asia, besides offering significant cross selling opportunities for EbixCash Financial Exchange portfolio of products.

“I believe that the addition of Via’s integrated platform into our rapidly growing EbixCash financial exchange, places us in a very strong position to implement our vision related to Financial Exchanges in the South East of Asia,” said Ebix Chairman, President and CEO Robin Raina.

“This allows us tremendous cross-selling opportunities through each other’s distribution networks as our product portfolio is complementary and a perfect fit for each of our distribution outlets and corporate clients,” he added.

The acquisition, which is scheduled to close over the next few days, is expected to be accretive to Ebix earnings immediately.

This marks Ebix’s fifth acquisition in the country since its India foray in May, when it acquired majority stake in Indian payments platform Itzcash for $120 million.

In September, Ebix acquired the money transfer business of Paul Merchants Ltd for $40.7 million.

In August, the US firm had agreed to acquire the money transfer service scheme (MTSS) business of YouFirst Money Express Pvt. Ltd. In the same month, it announced that it would be acquiring the MTSS assets of Wall Street Finance Ltd, along with its unit Goldman Securities Ltd.

In a recent interview to Mint, Robin Raina, chief executive of Ebix Inc. said the company was planning to spend an additional $200 million for acquisitions in India. He expressed his keenness to acquire companies in newer segments such as travel and lending.

Via.com, operated by Flightraja Travels Pvt. Ltd, was founded in 2007 by Vinay Gupta and Amit Aggarwal. It is a distributor of transportation ticketing, accommodation reservation, packaged tours, corporate travel management, travel ancillaries, retail and financial services.

According to the company statement, acquisition of the omni-channel business would further strengthen Ebix’ position in the financial exchange market in India . “Travel transactions can be one of the key areas of any leading financial exchange, with an estimated user base of 600 million in India alone,” it said.

Via.com. had raised $5 million from Indo-US Venture Partners, now Kalaari Capital, in 2007. It subsequently got $10 million in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital in December 2009.

It was recently reported that Paytm, operated by One97 Communications Pvt Ltd, was in talks to acquire online travel firm Via.com,  at a valuation of up to $80 million.

Also Read:

US-based Ebix to invest $120m for stake in Indian digital payment provider ItzCash

Ebix to buy YouFirst Money

ItzCash parent Ebix to acquire Paul Merchants

ItzCash parent Ebix to buy money transfer operations of Wall Street Finance

Paytm to acquire Via.com

 

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.