Technology has changed the travel industry dramatically. We can now plan entire vacations and book hotel rooms, flights, sightseeing tours, and other activities from our smartphones. Trips are now more enjoyable and convenient. We frequently discuss travel technology due to the enormous growth of the tourism sector.
Let’s dive into what travel technology is, followed by India’s top 10 innovative travel tech startups.
What Is Travel Technology?
Travel tech assists users in planning travel. It makes travelling more convenient. It streamlines the back-office operations of travel companies and enables customers to book online without a travel agent.
Until a few years ago, travel agencies used to plan trips for their clients, including booking lodging, transportation, and other travel-related services. But, with the advancement of technology in the travel sector, most of these tasks have become online. Customers can organize their travel plans themselves, or agencies can do it on their behalf using these platforms.
Let’s look at the top travel platforms using innovative technology to make travelling easier for customers.
Top 10 Innovative Travel Tech Startups in India
Here’s a quick summary:
|S. No.||Name||Head Quarters||Founded on||Founders||Funding||Website|
|1||Thomas Cook India||Mumbai||1881||Thomas Cook||Publicly traded||https://www.thomascook.in|
|2||Club Mahindra Holidays and Resorts||Chennai||1996||Arun Nanda||Publicly traded||https://www.clubmahindra.com/|
|3||NearBuy||New Delhi||2011||Ravi Shankar, Snehesh Mitra||$37.2M||https://www.nearbuy.com/|
|6||Blowhorn||Bengaluru||2014||Mithun Srivatsa, Nikhil Shivaprasad||$8.8M||https://blowhorn.com/|
|7||MakeMyTrip||Gurugram||2000||Rajesh Magow||Publicly traded||https://www.makemytrip.com/|
|8||Yatra||Gurugram||2006||Dhruv Shringi, Manish Amin, Sabina Chopra||Publicly traded||https://www.yatra.com/|
|9||Ixigo||Bengaluru||2006||Aloke Bajpai, Dharmendra Yashovardhan, Rajnish Kumar||$72M||https://www.ixigo.com/|
|10||EaseMyTrip||Delhi||2008||Nishant Pitti, Prashant Pitti, Rikant Pitti||Publicly traded||https://www.easemytrip.com/|
Read on to know more about the investors in these travel startups, their USP, and more.
1. Thomas Cook India
Address: 11th & 13th Flr, Marathon Future, NM Joshi Marg, Lower, BDD Chawl, Lower Parel, Mumbai, India
Founded on: 1881
Founders: Thomas Cook
Funding: Publicly traded
About: Started in the 1880s, Thomas Cook India is one of the oldest travel agencies. It has a massive network of offices allowing both business and leisure travel. With Thomas Cook, customers get forex, visa, and passport services as well.
USP: Thomas Cook India provides comprehensive services when it comes to travel. It also offers personalized holiday packages.
2. Club Mahindra Holidays and Resort
Address: 2nd floor, Mahindra Towers, 17/18, Pattullos Rd, Mount Road, Express Estate, Royapettah, Chennai
Founded on: 1996
Founders: Arun Nanda
Funding: Publicly traded
About: Club Mahindra Holidays and Resort, also known as Club Mahindra Holidays, provides hospitality services. It is one of the oldest companies in the Travel and Leisure sector, operating since 1996. The Club Mahindra Experience allows access to more than 100 resorts in India and around the globe, opening a world of opportunities.
The company also plans to expand its network with partner hotels over the next couple of years.
USP: Club Mahindra Holidays has a rich online presence, allowing users to get virtual tours of their resorts before visiting them.
Address: Mezzanine Floor, Pushp Vihar Commercial Complex, LSC Madangir, Saket, New Delhi
Founded on: 2011
Founders: Ravi Shankar, Snehesh Mitra
Investors: Sequoia Capital India, BlackSoil
About: NearBuy is an online platform through which local businesses and consumers can interact with one another. The company offers discounts and coupons on products for men and women, home and kitchen, travel and baggage, sports and fitness, health care, entertainment, automobiles, stationery, and more.
USP: NearBuy makes it easier for travelling individuals to discover local experiences. The brand lists restaurants, salons, gyms, grocery stores and more.
Address: Golf Course Ext Rd, Sector 69, Gurugram
Founded on: 2013
Founders: Ritesh Agarwal
Funding: raised a total of $4B in funding over 19 rounds
Investors: Qatar Insurance Company, Microsoft, Värde Partners, Citadel, Red Lions Capital, SoftBank Vision Fund, Hindustan Media Venture, Ritesh Agarwal, SoftBank, Airbnb
Employees: 14,024 employees
About: OYO Rooms runs an online platform that facilitates the listing and booking of lodging options like hotels, residences, and apartments. It offers an application with a range of digital tools to support consumers at every step of their journey, including discovery, easy booking, pre-stay assistance, cancellations, digital check-ins, in-stay and post-stay services, and more.
USP: OYO allows travelling individuals to easily get access to rooms. It is a great alternative to AirBnB, particularly for those looking for budget options during travels.
Address: Plot no. 29, 3rd & 4th Floor Dynamic House, Maruti Industrial Complex, Sector 18, Gurugram
Founded on: 2011
Founders: Prabhat Gupta
Funding: $ 47.9m (raised $13m almost 3 years ago)
Investors: Fundamentum, KB Global Platform Fund, SAIF Partners, RB Investments, Bessemer Venture Partners
About: TravelTriangle enables travellers to book a custom vacation package with a nearby travel agent. The company links customers with local professionals who provide affordable options. It also enables them to bargain prices with nearby travel organizers through interactive remarks.
USP: TravelTriangle, through its network of partners, allows travelers to get personalized holiday experiences at a relatively lower cost.
Address: 511, 8th cross, JP Nagar 3rd Phase, Bengaluru, Karnataka
Founded on: 2014
Founders: Mithun Srivatsa, Nikhil Shivaprasad
Funding: raised a total of $8.8M in funding over 7 rounds
Investors: Draper Associates, Symphony International Holdings, Chiratae Ventures, Trifecta Capital Advisors, Rajesh Mane, Venture Catalysts, Michael & Susan Dell Foundations, James Lee Sorenson
About: Blowhorn runs an online last-mile logistics marketplace. Through its website and smartphone app, the company connects buyers looking to move products swiftly and easily with owners of mini trucks. While blowhorn mainly operates as an intra-city logistics company, they also have programs to train unemployed youths.
USP: Blowhorn is presently the leading startup that allows customers to move goods from one gram to one metric ton.
Address: DLF Building No. 5 Tower B, DLF Cyber City, DLF Phase 2, Sector 25, Gurugram
Founded on: 2000
Founders: Rajesh Magow
Funding: Publicly Traded
About: MakeMyTrip offers online travel services, including airline tickets, domestic and international holiday packages, hotel bookings, and rail and bus tickets.
As of March 31, 2018, they have counters at four of India’s major airports, over 30 franchisee-owned travel stores in 28 cities, and 14 company-owned travel stores in 14 cities. Among the locations where MakeMyTrip has offices are New York, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Phuket, Bangkok, and Dubai.
In 2017, the business joined hands with Redbus and Goibibo to create one of India’s most-known travel agencies. This travel firm has over 20 million unique customers because they enable customers to study and plan their travels using a variety of products and deals.
USP: MakeMyTrip is one of the most popular travel tech companies in India, providing easy access to ticketing services. They also offer a wide range of hotels and holiday experiences across multiple cities.
Address: 748, Sec – 39 near Unitech cyber park, Gurugram
Founded on: 2006
Founders: Dhruv Shringi, Manish Amin, Sabina Chopra
Funding: Publicly funded
About: Yatra.com started as a search engine for travel. It was established in 2006 to serve as an online centre for your travel destinations. The business offers a range of services, such as airline ticketing, vacation packages, and accommodation reservations for corporate and private clients. The website is very user-friendly, and you can utilize several coupons and discounts to cut the cost of your reservations. Yatra.com also lists local experiences as shopping and heritage walk.
USP: It is the only online travel agency that lets customers book flights up to three hours before departure.
Address: 2nd floor, Veritas Building, Behind Ibis Hotel, Golf Course Road, DLF Phase 5, Sector 53, Bengaluru
Founded on: 2006
Founders: Aloke Bajpai, Dharmendra Yashovardhan, Rajnish Kumar
Funding: raised a total of $72M in funding over 7 rounds
Investors: Trifecta Capital Advisors, Lavanya Ashok, IE Venture Fund, GIC, Malabar India Fund, Orios Venture Partners, Bay Capital, India Acorn Fund, Sequoia Capital India, Fosun RZ Capital
About: Ixigo.com offers travel research and planning services. The business has effectively entered the mobile app market in addition to being a reliable source of travel information and ticket purchases. Among other apps, the ixigo trains app has dominated the market.
Ixigo.com began as a travel meta-search engine before releasing mobile apps and content, and this is now one of their key components. Simply put, their travel meta search engine assists you in selecting the most affordable options for flights, lodging, trains, and buses.
Since ixigo.com does not charge for recommending airline and hotel deals, for example, it is not an online travel agency. By clicking on the deal of their choice, users are taken to the website of the business providing that particular deal.
USP: Ixigo offers the most reliable ticket booking experience through their app. The app also provides extensive details regarding trains and it one of the most downloaded apps for Indian trains.
Address: Patparganj Industrial Area, Patparganj, Delhi
Founded on: 2008
Founders: Nishant Pitti, Prashant Pitti, Rikant Pitti
Funding: Publicly traded
About: EaseMyTrip is an online travel company with zero convenience fees. They offer reductions on transportation services like hotels, buses, taxis, and vacation packages frequently. With more than 8.81 million customers, the organization has established a presence through its agent network, offices, and franchisees in every pin code.
EaseMyTrip also has a sizable B2B network with 10,477 corporate clients and 52,752 registered travel agent partners. Apart from India, the company has international offices in Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.
USP: EaseMyTrip provides discounted deals on travel ticket and hotel bookings.
Our Research Methodology
India has been a popular travel destination for both local and international travellers. Travel tech makes travelling comfortable, but safety and trust are also crucial. The criteria for listing these travel tech startups include:
- Established and reputed brands: Brands like Thomas Cook or Club Mahindra have been operating in the country for a long time. These brands and their partners have established themselves as trustworthy players in this industry, ensuring safe and comfortable travels.
- Ease of access: Brands like ixigo, MakeMyTrip and Yatra.com have enabled laymen to plan travel and get tickets and hotel reservations done in minutes. They do not need to rely on agents for travel plans.
- Personalized experiences: Finally, travel experiences should be personalized. Brands like TravelTriangle, OYO, and NearBuy allow travellers to experience places independently without the help of others. Brands like Blowhorn can help with logistics, even in rural areas, allowing people longer stays.
If you’re into the travel business and looking for tools to automate your marketing, sales, and operations, check out LeadSquared’s Travel CRM.
You can also book a free consultation with one of our experts who have helped companies like MakeMyTrip expand their sales ops.