Wego Acquires Cleartrip’s Middle East Business.

Credits: vccircle.com

Online travel marketplace Wego, operated by Wego Pvt Ltd, has signed a definitive agreement with the Flipkart Group to buy the Middle East business of its online travel portal Cleartrip. As part of the transaction, Wego will also buy Flyin.com, a company acquired by Cleartrip in 2018. In addition, Flipkart and Wego have signed a technology cooperation agreement, the companies said.

Last year in April, Flipkart announced a proposed acquisition of Cleartrip to diversify its offerings. Both companies’ boards of directors have approved the transaction, financial details of which were not disclosed, the transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2022.

Cleartrip grew organically in the Middle East region in 2010 and later acquired Riyadh-based Flyin.com, which led to the company starting operations in Saudi Arabia, the company said, adding that Wego and Cleartrip had their regional headquarters in Dubai Internet City.

Cleartrip was founded in 2006 by Crighton, Hrush Bhatt and Matthew Spacie who is no longer with the company. It provides a platform for booking hotels, flights and trains. In 2016, it launched Cleartrip Local, a platform offering curated activities and experiences.

Wego, meanwhile, claims to operate the largest online travel market in the Middle East and North Africa. The Company provides a platform for travel search websites through mobile applications. The company uses technology to automate the process of finding, comparing and booking travel between airlines, hotel chains and online travel agencies. The company is also headquartered in Singapore and is sponsored by Tiger Global Management, Crescent Point, Square Peg Capital, Middle East Venture Partners and MBC Group.

Ross Veitch, CEO and co-founder of Wego, said the Middle East will be one of the most exciting growth stories of the next decade, with travel and technology taking center stage and the Wego Group playing a crucial role. This acquisition will significantly increase our size and capabilities and strengthen our ability to partner and collaborate in our region.

Flipkart’s sale of Cleartrip’s Middle East operations comes at a time when pandemic-related travel lockdowns and restrictions have crippled global travel demand for the past two years. Flipkart previously formed partnerships with other travel portals such as MakeMyTrip and Ixigo.

Countries around the world are imposing domestic and international travel restrictions to slow the spread of the contagious coronavirus disease. India has yet to open its international borders to tourists and domestically. Flights are still underutilized due to tight restrictions imposed by local governments on passenger travel.

Flipkart Senior Vice President and Chief Business Development Officer Ravi Iyer said that given their strategic priorities and focus on the Indian market, Wego is ensuring their business continuity by acquiring Cleartrip’s business in India and Middle East. They believe they are the right partners to drive your next phase of growth.

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