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Flipkart To Acquire Cleartrip As Travel Company Faced Huge Economic Losses Amid Lockdown

One of India’s oldest travel companies, the 14-year-old Cleartrip faced huge economic losses amid the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the Mumbai-based flight and hotel booking company will be bought by Bengaluru-based e-commerce company and Walmart backed Flipkart. Media reports stated that that the companies pegged a deal at around $40 million (₹299 crores). Cleartrip succumbing to the Covid-19 triggered economy slump might just be the first of several. With travel and tourism taking a severe beating due to the pandemic, the whole online travel and ticketing sector suffers from weak financial health. Here’s everything you need to know about Cleartrip and its acquisition by Flipkart.

The Rise Of ClearTrip; A Sought After Online Travel Booking platform
Cleartrip was founded by Hrush Bhatt, Stuart Crighton, and Matthew Spacie in 2006. It went on to become one of India’s most prized travel agents (OTAs). Cleartrip held the coveted crown and became one of the oldest travel booking companies in the country. By 2018. it opened headquarters beyond India, in Dubai. The company offered impeccable services as an online travel booking website for flight, train tickets and hotel reservations in India and the Middle East. It also acquired Saudi Arabia based online aggregator Flyin. But this was just the calm before the storm in 2020.

Problems Faced By ClearTrip Due To The Pandemic
The coronavirus induced lockdown in India created havoc for the company. It also faced a heap of losses due to stiff competition. The business was hit terribly in May 2020 because of this, the Mumbai based firm laid off around 500 employees. Bookings for hotels and air travel also dropped by at least 10 to 15 per cent in April as compared to February in 2021 due to the COVID-19 second wave. While they struggled to survive, the second wave gave a glimpse of a bleak future. That’s when Cleartrip entered into talks with Flipkart for acquisition.

Flipkart Wholly Acquires Cleartrip & Retains All Its Employees
And on April 15, Flipkart announced that it will wholly acquire Cleartrip. Though the exact deals of the financial transaction remain undisclosed according to a Financial Express report the travel firm is valued at around $40 million (₹299 crores). Cleartrip would continue operating as a separate brand. Flipkart through this acquisition shall diversify the product offerings for customers. Flipkart shall retain all employees of Cleartrip. The Bengaluru based company will also get access to around 80-100 million consumers who use online platforms for booking flight, train tickets and hotel reservations.

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