OFFICIAL: Tencent-backed Ibibo Acquires India’s Redbus (But Rumored $138 Million Price-Tag Not Confirmed)


As we speculated upon at the start of the week, India’s online bus ticket platform Redbus has been acquired by Ibibo, the joint-venture Indian web company run by China’s Tencent (HKG:0700) and South Africa’s Naspers.

While the news is now official, no financial details are being revealed. The rumoured sum earlier this week was $138 million.

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RedBus has been touted as one of the most innovative young web companies in the world. It has been able to bring together the very fragmented Indian bus companies into the online world and now covers booking tickets for over 10,000 bus routes in India.

The acquisition, reckons TechCrunch, signals that Ibibo – owned 80:20 by Naspers and Tencent – is ready to be more active and aggressive in India. Redbus remains an independent company under its current name. It’s not clear if its open APIs for bus ticketing will also remain untouched.

Plus, Phanindra Sama, the co-founder and CEO of redBus, will remain with his startup, contrary to rumors of his departure.

In other news, Tencent is tapping its Ibibo business to help promote the China-made messaging app WeChat in India.

(And yes, we're serious about ethics and transparency. More information here.)

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