Given the market sentiment, it doesn’t make sense to go for IPO right now: ixigo cofounder and group CEO Aloke Bajpai
Bajpai said that the online travel platform will rely on its free cash flow, given the volatility in the market right now
The Gurugram-based OTA received SEBI’s approval for the INR 1,600 Cr IPO in December 2021
Online travel aggregator (OTA) ixigo has put its plans for an initial public offering (IPO) on hold owing to the current macroeconomic environment.
Aloke Bajpai, the cofounder and group CEO of ixigo, told The Hindu BusinessLine that the company has put its INR 1,600 Cr IPO on the back burner for now as the time isn’t right for it.
“Given the state of the markets which haven’t eased out over the past six months, and neither are they stable at the moment with the SVB and other financial crises, the time isn’t right at the moment. Hence, it didn’t make sense for us to go for an IPO right now,” Bajpai said.
The Gurugram-based OTA received the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI’s) approval for the IPO in December 2021. The IPO documents expired recently, and ixigo would have to file fresh documents if it plans to go for an IPO again.
The cofounder added that ixigo decided to go for the IPO, not because of a need for cash but because it was looking to grow faster. “Given the volatile markets right now, we will rely on our free cash flow,” said Bajpai.
As per the draft red herring documents (DRHP), ixigo was looking to utilise INR 640 Cr for funding organic and inorganic growth initiatives, while around 25% of the net proceeds were to be used for general corporate purposes.
Founded by Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar, the OTA has raised close to $88 Mn in funding from the likes of Sequoia India, GIC, InfoEdge, Elevation Capital and Fosun RZ, among others. ixigo last raised a $53 Mn round (mix of primary and secondary) in July 2021.
ixigo also acquired the train ticketing platform ConfirmTkt in FY21 and the bus ticketing platform AbhiBus in FY22.
In a recent conversation with Inc42 on cockroach startups, Bajpai talked about ixigo’s frugality playbook, stating that its zero-dollar marketing approach has paid off immensely when it comes to profitability.
For context, ixigo saw a 2.8X jump in its operating revenue to INR 379.6 Cr from INR 135.5 Cr in FY21. However, it posted a consolidated net loss of INR 21 Cr in the financial year.
With the latest announcement, ixigo has joined the list of Indian startups that have delayed or permanently shelved their IPO plans amid the prevalent macroeconomic headwinds and market volatility. boAt, OYO, PharmEasy, MobiKwik and Droom are among the other startups which have suspended their IPO plans.