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Former Snapdeal CTO Amitabh Misra’s travel-tech venture Gofro takes off

Amitabh Misra

Amitabh Misra

MakeMyTrip-backed travel-tech startup Bona Vita Technologies Pvt Ltd has finally come out of the stealth mode with its platform Gofro.com. Founded by former Snapdeal CTO Amitabh Misra, the Delhi-based startup has launched an online travel planning and booking marketplace for Indians travelling abroad.

“There are companies who just do itinerary planning, there are some who just do hotels, OTAs (online travel agencies) who do flights. Because of this most travel planning happens offline and thus is time-consuming,” Misra told Techcircle. “We will bring the entire process on one platform through Gofro.”

Misra said Gofro eliminates travel agents. The platform acts as a marketplace for buyer, suppliers, ancillary services, travel advisory services and more, he said. “It allows listings of direct/individual suppliers and also has online integrations with other aggregators.”

The travel portal helps travelers plan their holiday with assisted booking and best-price options.

Users will get live assistance from travel experts, who will help travelers co-create a travel plan.

Gofro also offers users data analytics-driven recommendations. For example, based on a user’s plan, it may recommend that on the third day of the travel to Singapore there’s a Formula One event happening and ask the user whether he wants to buy a ticket.

After booking, the startup offers ancillary services such as travel insurance, visa, foreign exchange, and SIM cards. The destination experts assist users in booking a vacation and act as real-time holiday companions.

Misra said the startup will operate in a market that he estimates is a $17 billion industry with 20 million Indians travelling to international destinations every year. The market size is estimated to touch $40-$50 billion by 2020 with about 50 million travelers, he said. However, the industry is very fragmented with the largest player holding only 3% market share and the big players combined controlling barely 10%, he added.

Destinations, target transactions

Gofro currently offers travel plans for six destinations—Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Dubai and Mauritius—and has 150 suppliers. There’s no listing fee for suppliers.
The company is looking to expand to 50 destinations by the end of this financial year, and will also start domestic travel services. “Once that’s through, we will open our platform for international travelers coming to India,” Misra said.

Bona Vita is currently a team of 70, of which half are engineers. “We are looking to take the number to 150 by the year end,” he said.

Misra said the startup is targeting gross merchandise value of Rs 10 crore a month by the end of the financial year 2016-17, and about 1,000 transactions a month.

MakeMyTrip funding

Last year, the country’s top online travel agency MakeMyTrip Ltd invested $5 million (Rs 32 crore then) to pick up a majority stake in Bona Vita.

Will Gofro compete with MakeMyTrip? “We do see MakeMyTrip as our competition but we also see them as our partner because they can list supplies on our platform such as flights,” Misra said.
He added that the startup is not looking to raise funds now as it is at a product development stage. It will seek funding when it starts growing, he said.

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