Online travel agency MakeMyTrip Ltd on Friday said it acquired Amsterdam-based EasyToBook.com (ETB) group of companies to enhance its presence in hotel bookings.
MakeMyTrip bought the entire stake in ETB and invested an additional sum for a total consideration of about $5 million, the company said.
In July 2012, Deep Kalra, founder of www.makemytrip.com, had said he wanted to buy small companies that would help him add businesses related to his once core activity of selling air tickets.
Established in 2004, ETB primarily operates through www.easytobook.com and offers its customers online hotel reservations in Europe and North America.
ETB “has unique front-end Web design capabilities and has developed proprietary technologies for powering affiliate travel websites as well as dynamic shopping of various travel products,” MakeMyTrip said in a statement.
“The acquisition of EasyToBook.com will add momentum to our stated objective of growing our hotel and online holidays business. Like us, EasyToBook has a strong focus on technology and innovation and being a pure-play hotel site, it brings a strong domain expertise to the table,” said Kalra, group chief executive at MakeMyTrip.
In May 2011, MakeMyTrip acquired a majority stake in Luxury Tours and Travel Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based agency that provides hotel reservations and tours, for $3.4 million.
In July that year, it bought a stake in Ixigo.com, an online travel search engine, for $4.8 million, and in November, it bought a 29% stake in Delhi-based MyGuestHouse Accommodations Pvt. Ltd for $1 million.
The purchases helped MakeMyTrip add technology muscle and the ability to offer customers accommodation ranging from budget to luxury rooms.
Online ticketing firms are evolving into the larger travel companies they’ve aspired to be, providing hotel rooms, holiday packages, car rentals and bus and rail bookings. This is also an effort to reduce their dependency on air ticketing, with the aviation industry remaining volatile.