India’s Cleartrip acquires Saudi online travel aggregator Flyin

Cleartrip, a leading travel aggregator in Middle East and India has acquired Saudi online travel agency Flyin. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2008, Flyin was one of the first online travel agencies in Saudi Arabia and has been the leading player in the market ever since. With presence in Saudi Arabia & Egypt, they sell flights, hotels and travel packages, currently having over 320,000 hotels and 450 airlines on their platform.

What’s perhaps most interesting about Flyin is that they have not raised any venture capital since in almost ten years of their existence.

According to a statement by both the companies, their combined market share in the Middle East is over 60%.

It is the first ever acquisition by Mumbai-based Cleartrip that has been in the business since 2006 and has raised over $75 million in funding up to this point. They had expanded to Middle East almost six years ago amid tough competition in their local market.

Speaking about the acquisition, Stuart Crighton, founder and CEO of Cleartrip, said, “Having established a strong position in India with our world class products, we are pushing ahead with our ambitious expansion plans in the MENA market, and together with Flyin, we have reached a major milestone in our journey.”

“The transaction represents the culmination of our search for a strategic partner that has outstanding market association in Saudi Arabia and shares our business ethos and principles. We will leverage each other’s strengths to enhance product development and customer experience,” he added.

Abdullah Al Romaih, founder of Flyin, commenting on the occasion, said, “We are embarking on a new journey to reinforce our leadership position in Saudi Arabia’s online travel market. Bringing over a decade’s international experience and industry-leading technologies and skills, Cleartrip will also help us to offer our customers new and enhanced travel experiences. We look forward to having Cleartrip continue to support the economic growth in the Kingdom, as well as the evolving travel needs of our customers.”

It’s not clear whether Flyin will continue with its own brand or Cleartrip will take over.

The deal is subject to regulatory and corporate approvals.

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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