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Cleartrip investor Concur launches $150M fund for travel-related startups

Concur Technologies, a NASDAQ-listed travel and expense management solutions provider and key investor in Indian online travel agency Cleartrip.com, has announced the launch of the Concur Perfect Trip Fund. The fund, with a corpus of $150 million, would focus on investing in emerging companies in the travel ecosystem.

Although the firm has not talked about the geographies it would be investing in, given its previous investment and a slew of new age travel related stratups in the country, India might figure in its scheme of things. We have sent an e-mail to the spokesperson of Concur to get an answer and will update you on this.

Concur invested $40 million in Cleartrip last year in April in a deal that also included a marketing partnership that enabled Concur to access travel content and integrate with Cleartrip’s offerings and together target the Indian business travel market.

Concur’s other investments globally include Evature, developer of an expert virtual agent (EVA) which provides natural-language search capabilities for online travel; buuteeq, a Cloud digital marketing system for hotels; hotel search site Room 77; Yapta, a provider of Intelligent Price Tracking for the travel industry and TaxiMagic, the leader in mobile consumer solutions for the ground transportation industry.

Steve Singh, chairman and CEO of Concur, said, “Concur is not only driving the innovation agenda for our industry, we’re also leveraging our balance sheet to foster innovation and nurture game-changing technologies that can be leveraged by the entire business travel ecosystem. Along with our own path of innovation, we want to tap in to the creativity and entrepreneurship of the many smart companies in which we’ve invested.”

Although the OTA space is pretty mature in India with big players like NASDAQ-listed MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Cleartrip and Via besides foreign players like Expedia and Wego, there are a new bunch of start-ups also that are catering to niche services in the travel related business.

On the other hand, the bigger OTAs, who were largely ticket-booking platforms, are all looking towards integrating newer options like hotel bookings and vacation planning.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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