Micromax Informatics Limited, India's second largest smartphone player, said it has made a strategic investment in ixigo, a mobile travel search & marketplace, as the handset maker tries to create a connected mobile services ecosystem for its devices.
"Our vision is to seamlessly integrate innovative services into smart devices to create an ecosystem that is valuable for our users. We are really impressed with ixigo's talented team & its mobile technology. We look forward to working closely with them to build on-demand and one-click travel experiences for Micromax consumers," Rahul Sharma, Co-founder, Micromax Informatics, said in a joint statement.
Sharma added that Micromax will announce more such partnerships over the next few months to accelerate our journey into services.
This investment would further reinforce Micromax's foray into application services after having pioneered democratization of technology by delighting the consumers with its affordable and innovative product offerings.
It will also give ixigo a reach of over 30 million incremental users over the next year, the company said in a joint statement.
ixigo, on the other hand, plans to use this investment for expanding its product & technology team and to add 25,000 small and mid-sized travel service providers to its marketplace offering.
Popular for its innovative travel apps, ixigo helps Indian travellers plan their trips, find the best train & bus services, book cheapest flights, cabs, hotels and more. ixigo aims to provide relevant travel services to the next 300 million smartphone users, and has recently entered the budget hotels, packages & cabs segments.
"80% of our travel & transportation queries and 50% of our transactions currently originate on mobile devices. This partnership with Micromax, the leading smartphone OEM in India, will strengthen our market leadership in mobile travel services for middle class users. We expect to quadruple our mobile user-base in the next 12 months," Aloke Bajpai, CEO & co-founder, ixigo, said in a joint statement.
Micromax had announced last month that it will be making investments of 0.5-20 million dollars in over 20 startups in the coming year.
For this objective, Micromax has also set up an M&A team which has been actively sourcing and working with startups across major technology markets such as Silicon Valley, Europe, Israel and India to bring in the best products and capabilities.
Micromax recently invested in digital fitness app HealthifyMe. Earlier this month, the startup was able to successfully raise a second round of funding from angel investors including Gopal Srinivasan (TVS Capital), Sashi Reddi (AppLabs), Amit Gupta (InMobi) and Pallav Nadhani (FusionCharts), among others.
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