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China's Fosun may invest in online travel search engine ixigo

ixigo fundingGurgaon-based Le Travenues Technology Pvt. Ltd, which runs online travel search engine ixigo, may raise investment from Chinese conglomerate Fosun International, media reports said.

The Times of India reported on Tuesday night, citing sources it didn't name, that Fosun invested in ixigo in a $15 million financing round led by Sequoia Capital.

In another report, The Economic Times said that Fosun "is in the final stages of investing" in ixigo.

An email sent by Techcircle to ixigo co-founder and CEO Aloke Bajpai didn't immediately elicit a response.

Ixigo was founded by Rajnish Kumar and Bajpai in 2007. It has evolved from being a meta-search engine for travel to a travel marketplace where a customer can find hotel deals, fares, book cabs, train or flight across multiple sites.

Ixigo had raised $18.5 million in 2011 from SAIF Partners and online travel services firm MakeMyTrip. In June 2015, handset maker Micromax made an undisclosed investment in ixigo.

In September last year, Bajpai had told Techcircle that the company was aiming to turn profitable in 2017-18. He also said that ixigo's net revenue tripled to Rs 12 crore in 2015-16 from Rs 3.68 crore the year before and that the number of transactions doubled.

Fosun has been looking to make private equity investments in India. It also struck a large takeover deal in July last year when it acquired Gland Pharma Ltd in a $1.26-billion transaction.

In fact, in 2016, Chinese companies pumped in almost twice the money they had invested in India in the last decade and a half. Apart from Gland Pharma, Chinese companies also invested in ad-tech startup Media.net and electrical equipment maker Diamond Power Infrastructure Ltd.

Chinese businesses started making heavy investments into Indian companies in 2015, when e-commerce giant Alibaba bet on Snapdeal and Paytm. Alibaba, which invested $680 million in Paytm last year, and its financial arm Ant Financial Services Group now own about 40% of Paytm.

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