Online travel agency (OTA) Expedia Inc has partnered with Bangalore-based redBus, a bus ticketing site owned by Pilani Soft Labs. redBus will power bus ticket booking functionality on expedia.co.in, while Expedia will get an access to seat inventory across more than 180,000 bus services of 900 operators across the country.
Without divulging the finances associated with the deal, Phanindra Sama, founder, redBus said, “Expedia gets the whole user interface of redBus, built over 5-6 years. Expedia users will also have an access to customised information and user ratings only available on our portal.” For bus tickets booked through Expedia, no extra charges will be levied by redBus.
This is not the first time redBus is partnering with an OTA. Earlier it has partnered with Via, gobibo and ezeego. “But earlier, these OTAs had an access only to our inventories, not anything else,” Sama added.
redBus also have a partnership with Yatra, but since the latter’s bus interface is being revamped, it is not live.
Previously, redBus had discontinued its deal with MakeMyTrip after the OTA acquired Ticketwala, which was doing similar business.
With the partnership, redBus will get access to Expedia’s user base. Sama said, “Our customer base consists of middleclass Indians. But theirs comprise HNIs, expats and inbound tourists. Thus it will be complementary to our user base.”
redBus claims to sell 1 million tickets via internet every month, of which 65 per cent comes from their own website, 20 per cent from its OTAs partners and the rest from bus operators who have hosted websites.
RedBus claims to have a registered customer base of over two millions and has grown at an average rate of 250 per cent year on year for the past five years. The gross merchandise value or GMV in FY2012 almost doubled to reach Rs 300 crore over the previous year.
redBus is also looking for acquisitions and is in talks with a few offline bus ticketing companies in Singapore and Malaysia, to help expand its geographical footprint, while those companies can leverage its technology and backend operations.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)