WeAreHolidays, the online marketplace for booking customised holiday packages, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Matrix Partners India for a significant minority stake. Existing investors Blume Ventures and GSF Superangel Investors have co-invested in this round of equity funding for the company.
WeAreHolidays will be using the funds to grow its business and deepen its technology and analytics expertise.
According to the company, Indians travelling overseas for leisure alone is a US$5 billion to US$7 billion market and is growing at 40 per cent annually. Ten per cent of this includes complex customised holidays, a segment which is growing much faster as travellers seek more personalisation and control over their holidays.
“We believe there is a huge opportunity to leverage technology to re-define the experience of leisure travellers in an industry which has traditionally been very slow at adopting technology and new business models. Matrix’s deep experience across various industries, geographies and markets will be invaluable as we look to re-define the way holidays have been packaged, sold and serviced,” said Deepak Wadhwa, Co-founder and CEO, WeAreHolidays.
Founded in 2011 by Wadhwa, Harkirat Singh (both former Product Managers at MakeMyTrip) and Mohit Piplani, the company leverages its proprietary recommendation platform to create and plan holiday itineraries and services them through its supplier marketplace.
“India has become the fastest growing outbound travel market, aided by an increase in the number of affordable international travel options, higher disposable income and a penchant for bespoke experiences. The number of Indians travelling overseas is set to rise from 17 million to around 50 million by 2020, making it the second largest outbound travel market globally, next only to China,” said Tarun Davda, VP, Matrix India.
WeAreHolidays also suggests places to discover and things to do on a holiday. It takes care of any associated formalities such as visas, insurance, SIM and data cards etc.
Sachin Bhatia, Co-founder of MakeMyTrip and an angel investor in WeAreHolidays added, “The team at WeAreHolidays brings together a deep understanding of the travel ecosystem, consumers and technology. The fresh investment by Matrix will help it bring innovation to market and scale up its managed marketplace model.”
According to a joint report of KPMG and Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the size of India’s e-commerce market in 2013 was around US$13 billion and the online travel segment contributed over 70 percent of the total consumer e-commerce transactions. The travel portals and classifieds have fuelled the growth in the Indian e-commerce space.
The Indian travel booking industry is still dominated by the larger online players such as MakeMyTrip and Yatra. However, there is a growing demand for tailor-made holiday packages from mature Indian travelers. Recently, SAIF Partners backed Travel Triangle, an online marketplace for curating customised holiday deals. This space is slowly becoming competitive, though increased focus on brand building and differentiated offerings is the key for survival.