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Yatra gets $23 million funding to battle in India’s increasingly tough travel booking market

Yatra funding

Indian online travel site Yatra has revealed that it has raised a Rs 140 crore (US$23 million) funding round led by IDG Ventures, Vertex Ventures, along with its seed investor Norwest Venture Partners

Yatra will use this fresh investment to push the company’s growth plans. That will include strategic investments in mobile technology. It may do this through acquisitions of smaller startups, as it did with Travelguru.

Yatra’s main rival is the larger site MakeMyTrip (NASDAQ:MMYT).

Dhruv Shringi, Yatra’s co-founder and CEO, said in yesterday’s’s announcement that his company has been growing consistently and is focused to expand its market reach as well diversifying in terms of hotels and holiday package tours.

(See: China’s online travel sales to hit $48 billion by 2016, but India will show most growth)

India’s Economic Times says that institutional investors now hold an 80 percent stake in Yatra. The newspaper believes Yatra is now valued at $400 million, but that number hasn’t been confirmed by the company itself.

Getting an edge on mobile

Many of India’s of online travel portals and companies are not just focusing on domestic and international air tickets, but have expanded their offerings into bus and rail ticket bookings as well other travel and stay packages. That raises the stakes in the war between the likes of MakeMyTrip, GoIbibo, Redbus, and Yatra. In this intense battle, quality mobile apps are seen as a good way to bring in new users.

“This new investment will enable us to enhance our mobile technology, and also strengthen our execution capabilities,” Shringi added.

Previous investors in Yatra include Reliance Capital, Network 18 (one of the biggest media and broadcasting groups in India), Intel Capital, and Valiant Capital Partners.

Editing by Steven Millward

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