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JustDial adds bus ticket booking to its marketplace; should redBus and Ticketgoose worry?

justdialMumbai-based Just Dial Ltd, which runs the online business directory Justdial.com, has added bus ticket booking service to its platform. The firm will soon come up with other services, including flight booking and train ticket booking services, according to an update on its site.

Bus ticket booking is yet another revenue channel for Just Dial, which recently added a slew of features, including movie ticket booking, flower sales, restaurants bookings, cab booking and doctor's appointments, among others. Currently, Just Dial operates cab booking in Delhi with Mega Cabs.

In this segment, Just Dial will mainly compete with redBus, which was acquired by Naspers Group last year, and Ticketgoose.com, which is backed by US-based investor Indveture. However, these companies are focusing more on the south India region. Given the huge reach and acceptance across the country, Just Dial is better positioned to gain an edge.

Just Dial, which is mainly generating revenues from business listings and ads, recently launched an e-commerce marketplace. However, Just Dial is not engaged in e-commerce directly, instead it is connecting its customers with local merchants and allows consumers to browse catalogues and place orders online. It could not be immediately ascertained which of the existing bus ticket booking platforms powers the Just Dial service. We have contacted the company for more details, and will update the story as and when we hear from them.

Online travel industry is pegged at over $13 billion globally, of which train and bus ticketing form a major chunk. These two industries are dominated by IRCTC and redBus, respectively. Tours and packages, hotels and online cab services are the new areas that are seeing a lot of actions, of late.

Founded by VSS Mani in 1994, Just Dial is a local search firm that provides listings of small and medium businesses across the country. It provides its services across multiple platforms, including the internet, phone, wireless and print. The company claims to be catering to more than 57 million users but consumers/end-users don't have to pay to access these listings.

Justdial.com, had reported 86 per cent rise in net profit for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, partly boosted by other income from sale of mutual fund investments. Net profit for the quarter stood at Rs 29.76 crore compared with 15.96 crore in the same quarter the previous year. Operating revenue grew 26 per cent to Rs 119.86 crore.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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