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Flipkart keen to add Cleartrip to its cart

Apart from air travel, Flipkart would also be able to offer train bookings through Cleartrip.

Flipkart is in talks to purchase a controlling stake in online travel aggregator Cleartrip, which would help the Walmart-owned e-commerce giant diversify its business and tap opportunities in the travel space, according to industry sources.

“Discussions are going on between Flipkart and Cleartrip, whose financial performance was hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said a person familiar with the matter.

“Flipkart is eyeing different businesses such as financial services, insurance, and travel and sees it as a good opportunity to acquire travel firms during the pandemic.”

The move will enable Flipkart to take on travel companies such as MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Booking.com, and EaseMyTrip.

Flipkart expects a boom in travel and tourism as the economy recovers from the pandemic-induced slowdown.

Apart from air travel, Flipkart would also be able to offer train bookings through Cleartrip, which has a partnership with IRCTC.

In 2018, Flipkart formed a strategic partnership with MakeMyTrip in the travel services segment.

The aim was for MakeMyTrip’s multiple brands —including MakeMyTrip, Goibibo and redBus — to leverage Flipkart’s large customer base to drive online bookings in travel services.

In 2019, Flipkart strengthened its travel offering by introducing an enhanced native experience in partnership with Ixigo, a mobile travel platform.

Last year, Flipkart’s rival Amazon India partnered IRCTC.

Incidentally, last year, Amazon also partnered Cleartrip to add a flight-booking option to Amazon Pay.

Cleartrip reported loss of Rs 14 crore in FY20, a 53 per cent decrease compared with the previous year, and revenues of Rs 319 crore, according to Tofler.

Photograph: Abhishek N Chinnappa/Reuters

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