OYO Rooms founder believes that the future of travel is brands becoming their own distributors, which is, of course, every brand's dream. It may turn out to be true for super brands in isolated cases but it would be a very fragmented and unsatisfying user experience. There is a lot of convergence going on but the mammoth online travel agency sector isn't checking out anytime soon.
MyGola had a creative product but struggled to find an audience and to monetize it. It appears as though MakeMyTrip will now use MyGola to focus on travel inspiration and in-destination activities for the Indian traveler.
Knock-off companies should be more creative in their theft of intellectual property, don't you think?
Rather than working on making it easier for Indian travelers to transition easily between various devices, MakeMyTrip is focusing on keeping consumers on smartphones, and solving the clunkiness of the payment process on mobile. It's a bet that is India-specific, but might be instructive for some other parts of the developing world.
MakeMyTrip's air-ticket business has been struggling and it hopes to use the fund infusion to expand its product mix and markets.
There are exceptions, but nearly all of the booking sites want to increase their hotel mix because the margins are higher than for airline tickets. MakeMyTrip's acquisition of EasyToBook can be seen in this context.
Investors had high hopes for the most popular online travel sites emerging India and China, but it looks like travelers are turning to more established American brands like Expedia and Google.
Mobile may soon outpace desktops in India as the preferred way to book travel and Cleartrip clearly seems to be out front in its smartphone platform.