#Asia China’s Ctrip eyes Indian travel market with US$180M funding in MakeMyTrip

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MakeMyTrip has also granted Ctrip the permission to acquire its shares in the open market

Of late, various Chinese companies have gaining foothold in the fast-growing Indian consumer market. Be it smartphone or e-commerce, Chinese companies now have got big stakes in some of the hottest tech companies in India. Alibaba’s investment in Snapdeal and Paytm is a case in point. Xiaomi has also gained good traction in India with its cost-effective handset models.

Now, another Chinese online company is foraying into India. Nasdaq-listed online travel major Ctrip.com International has agreed to invest US$180 million in leading Indian online travel firm MakeMyTrip (MMT) via convertible bonds.

MMT, which is also a Nasdaq-listed company, has also granted Ctrip the permission to acquire its shares in the open market, so that Ctrip may beneficially own up to 26.6 per cent of the Indian company’s outstanding shares.

Upon completion of the investment, Ctrip will acquire the right to appoint a director to the MMT board of directors.

Also Read: MakeMyTrip to invest US$15M in HolidayIQ

“Ctrip is the dominant market leader in the online travel market in China. We believe there are many similarities in the Indian and Chinese online travel markets and we expect this strategic relationship between two market leaders to be mutually beneficial,” said Deep Kalra, Founder and group CEO of MMT.

“Today’s announcement marks the beginning of the strategic relationship between Ctrip and MakeMyTrip. Through this transaction, Ctrip has now gained exposure to India’s fast-growing online travel market,” said James Liang, Co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of Ctrip.

Ctrip.com is an travel service provider of accommodation reservation, transportation ticketing, packaged tours, and corporate travel management in China. It enables business and leisure travellers to make informed bookings by aggregating comprehensive travel-related information and offering its services through an advanced transaction and service platform.

Started in 2000, MMT is one of the oldest players in the Indian OTA space. It is mainly competing with Yatra.com, Cleartrip, goibibo and iXiGo, among other small and large OTAs.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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