Online travel agency Yatra.com will now allow users to book cabs from aggregators such as Ola and Uber through its mobile app, as it looks to provide more services to travellers that can add to its revenue.
The app will also allow booking of outstation cabs and hiring self-drive cars, Gurgaon-based Yatra Online Travel Pvt Ltd, which operates the travel agency, said in a statement. Yatra will charge a commission from the cab aggregators for bookings made through the Yatra app.
Manish Amin, co-founder and CIO of Yatra, said the company has built its technology to take on board Uber, Ola, TaxiForSure, EasyCabs and other cab aggregators. “We will also tie-up with Myles, Zoom Car for self-drive,” he said.
The company will launch the intra-city and outstation cab services next week, and integrate self-drive cars with its travel platform at a later date.
Yatra, which competes with OTAs such as MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip, Goibibo and Via.com, is also looking at automation at its backend with the use of artificial intelligence. “We are looking at auto-bots that answer the queries of the customers through a self-serving platform,” said Amin.
Yatra joins rivals including ixigo in becoming a so-called super-aggregator. In April last year, ixigo launched a similar service called ‘ixigo cabs’ that aggregates cab information and helps travellers find the nearest taxis around them anywhere in India at the tap of a screen.
Earlier this month, ixigo launched a new feature on its cab booking app that allows users to book cabs by tapping a button on their phone without a stable Internet connection.
While Yatra and ixigo have ventured into the cab booking business, some other companies have aggregated hotel bookings for travellers on their apps. For instance, mobile wallet and e-commerce marketplace Paytm started hotel bookings on its platform in October. The same month it also tied up with Bookmyshow.com for movie tickets and Zomato for food delivery.
In January, Bucker, a startup that allows users to access various cab-booking, food ordering and recharge services on a single app, raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding.