Skift Take

Is this the beginning of a wave of IPO activity among Indian travel companies? Yatra is set to become the second online travel agency to be listed on the Indian stock exchanges, following EaseMyTrip. Both Ixigo and Oyo are also poised for potential listings, indicating a growing interest in the public markets within the Indian travel sector.

India-headquartered online travel agency Yatra Online plans to launch its initial public offering (IPO) on September 15. The company, which has been listed on the Nasdaq since 2016, had filed a draft red herring prospectus on March 25 last year with the Indian regulatory body Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) with a goal of raising up to $97.5 million.

Yatra’s current IPO comprises a fresh issue of shares worth $73.5 million (INR 6.1 billion), lower than the earlier amount. However, the company has also secured a pre-IPO placement of around $7.5 million (INR 620 million) to one of its promoters THCL.

Indian travel companies wanting to launch their IPOs had so far been in a “wait-and-watch” mode. Ixigo and Oyo are also waiting in the wings.

Earmarking of Funds

A significant portion of the fresh issue proceeds, $18.1 million (INR 1.5 billion), has been earmarked for strategic investments, acquisitions, and fostering inorganic growth. Additionally, the company has allocated an estimated $48 million (INR 4 billion) towards customer acquisition and retention, technology advancement, and various other organic growth initiatives. The remaining funds would be designated for general corporate purposes.

A point that Co-Founder and CEO Dhruv Shringi had highlighted while talking to Skift last year. He had said the money from the listing would be used primarily for expansion, adding, “The company would also be investing in technology and in increasing its workforce on the sales side for customer acquisition.”

Shringi had also said that they would continue to look at acquisitions. The company last acquired the corporate travel business of PL Worldways (PLW), an India-based company, in 2019. Yatra had also acquired Air Travel Bureau — one of India’s largest independent corporate travel services provider — in 2017.

Yatra’s IPO Journey

SEBI had issued the final observation letter to Yatra In November, allowing Yatra to launch the IPO at any point within a 12-month window.

Having initially planned to launch the IPO in March, Yatra began its India investor outreach at the beginning of the March quarter. However, Shringi had then said that given the overall macro environment and the global market sentiment, the investor feedback process was taking longer than expected.

Yatra is yet to announce its financial results for the June quarter.

Sharing an update about the investor outreach in its last earnings call, on May 30, Shringi said, the feedback had been positive. He attributed this to the company’s strong performance, the noticeable resurgence of both consumer and corporate travel businesses in India and the favorable macro trends that suggest the potential for substantial growth in the sector for years to come.

Yatra’s Financials

As per its last earnings call, Yatra’s revenue and adjusted revenue for the quarter ended March 31, 2023, were reported at $14.4 million (INR 1.2 billion) and $22.9 million (INR 1.9 billion) respectively.

In stark contrast to the $642,989 (INR 53.4 million) loss in the corresponding quarter in the prior year, Yatra delivered a profit of $90,488 (INR 7.5 million) in the three months ended March 31, 2023. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter reached $2.2 million (INR 185.6 million), marking a significant increase of 251%.


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Tags: asia monthly, corporate travel, customer acquisition, financials, ipo, ixigo, online booking, online travel newsletter, oyo, technology, yatra

Photo credit: Indian travel companies wanting to launch their IPOs had so far been in a “wait-and-watch” mode. Sarang Pande / Unsplash

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