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redBus Looks Towards Global Expansion, Set To Launch In Four New SE Asian Countries

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redBus, the online bus ticketing solution provider is now planning to expand its business globally by launching its service in more than four South and Southeast Asian countries in the next three months.

A LiveMint report states, that the now goibibo group owned company is also exploring acquisitions and strategic investments to expand to these newer geographies, which are expected to account for at least 5% of the company’s revenue in the next 15-18 months, said company’s CEO Prakash Sangam.

redBus was founded by Phanindra Sama and was later acquired by the Ibibo Group, a subsidiary of South African mass media company Naspers Ltd., for around $100 million in 2013.

The company expanded its business to Singapore and Malaysia in June last year. With further expansion taking place, the company now joins the list of few Indian startups Zomato and Practo, which have expanded to other countries and gone global.

Prakash Sangam, CEO of redBus, said,

We want to take redBus to markets which are similar to India, unorganized or semi-organized, where a lot of the booking is still offline. We have scaled up solutions for travelers, bus operators and travel agents. We will be implementing these, market after market. Geographically, we are over-represented in South India. We want our representation to be uniform across the country.

He is a former Bharti Airtel Ltd executive. He took over as chief executive of redBus in June 2014, after the company’s co-founders Phanindra Sama and Charan Padmaraju quit the company.

The company claims that the number of bookings on redBus has surged more than three times since its acquisition from 600,000 every month in 2013 to 2.1 million at present.

As per the report, redBus will spend a significant part of its share of the funds in penetrating deeper into western and northern India, which together account for close to one-fourth of the company’s revenue. It will also spend money towards building and marketing the redBus brand.

The company will also focus on growing the hotels category, which it entered in April 2014. On its platform, the company currently retails hotels aggregated on Goibibo.com.

It competes with MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip and Yatragenie, among others. Alibaba-backed online payment services provider Paytm has also launched bus ticketing services in July last year.

A couple of weeks ago, ibibo Group, which currently owns and operates redBus, received another US$250m in the group from Naspers. It is planning to use the extra funds to strengthen it’s position in the hotels category and implement additional technological innovations into it system.


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