Ebix Expands on Leadership Position in Financial Exchange Markets in India through the Acquisition of Leading Travel Exchange Via
Author(s): City Air NewsVia’s Travel Exchange Encompasses 110,000+ Agents across 2,700 cities in India, Indonesia, Phillipines, Singapore, Thailand and UAE Ebix, Inc (NASDAQ: EBIX), a leading international supplier of On-Demand software...
Via’s Travel Exchange Encompasses 110,000+ Agents across 2,700 cities in India, Indonesia, Phillipines, Singapore, Thailand and UAE
Ebix, Inc (NASDAQ: EBIX), a leading international supplier of On-Demand software and E-commerce services to the insurance, financial, e-governance and healthcare industries, today announced that one of its Singapore subsidiaries has entered into an agreement to acquire Via.com, an Omni-channel online travel and assisted e-commerce exchange. The acquisition of Via expands on Ebix’s distribution network to over 224,000 distribution outlets in the South East of Asia, besides offering significant cross selling opportunities for Ebix’s EbixCash Financial Exchange portfolio of products.
Under the terms of the agreement, Via was valued at a total enterprise value of approximately $74.9 million. The closing of the transaction is expected over the next few days. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to Ebix earnings immediately.
Via is recognized as a leader in the travel space in India, besides being the only profitable Travel exchange out of all its peers, while having grown at a CAGR of 45% over the last 3 years. One of South East Asia’s leading travel exchanges with over 110,000 distribution outlets and 8000 corporate clients, Via processes over 24.5 million transactions every year. The Company’s integrated online platform offers mobile Phone Recharges, Money Transfer, Insurance, Prepaid Gift Cards & Retail Products, besides Domestic & International Air, Hotel & Holidays, Rail, Bus and Rental Car bookings. Via’s multi-channel exchange also engages directly with consumers through its B2C website and mobile application platforms.
The Via distribution network encompasses over 85,000 agents in India, 14,700 agents in Indonesia, 9,900 agents in Philippines, 600 agents in Singapore and 350 agents in UAE and Oman. Besides being one of the leaders in the space in India, the Company has emerged as the largest travel solutions provider in Philippines also. With a hotel inventory of over 500,000 hotels and one of the largest ticketing platforms expanding across corporates and distribution outlets, Via has a significant share of the domestic & international airline ticketing business. Via has more than 5% share in both domestic & international airline ticketing in India, 10% in Philippines, 2.7% in Indonesia, 2.1% in Singapore The Company’s B2C operations in Thailand, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia is gaining traction. It has harnessed its distribution outlets to do a wide variety of financial transactions including mobile recharges, money transfer, insurance, and prepaid cards etc.
Ebix intends to consolidate this acquisitions into its Financial Exchange - EbixCash while bringing significant synergies and redundancies to the combined operation. The acquisition of the Omni-channel Business, would further strengthen Ebix’s position in the Financial Exchange market in India, as travel transactions can be one of the key areas of any leading financial exchange, with an estimated user base of 600 million in India alone.
Vani Kola, Managing Director at Kalaari Capital said, “Ebix is a logical home for Via, as it complements EbixCash’s financial exchange portfolio perfectly, opening up tremendous cross-selling opportunities on both sides. We are excited about the possibilities this offers for both our customers and employees. Ebix’s financial strength, expertise, focus and commitment to the Fintech sector were key in our decision. We believe that the two sides can leverage each other’s abilities to take a market leadership role in the South East Asian markets.”
Ebix Chairman, President and CEO Robin Raina said “I believe that the addition of Via’s integrated platform into our rapidly growing EbixCash financial exchange, places us in a very strong position to implement our vision related to Financial Exchanges in the South East of Asia. This allows us tremendous cross-selling opportunities through each other’s distribution networks as our product portfolio is complementary and a perfect fit for each of our distribution outlets and corporate clients.”
Robin added, “For us taking a strong position in the travel area was very important, since insurance, remittances, phone recharges, prepaid gift cards etc. are the things that complement a consumer’s needs when they engage in travel. We believe that the cross-selling opportunities will further fuel organic growth in our EbixCash Financial Exchange portfolio.”
Ebix also announced that it expects the business to generate around $33 million in GAAP revenues in 2018 with approximately 30 percent operating margins.
The RainMaker Group acted as the sole financial advisor to Shareholders of Via. Ebix did not use any investment bankers for the transaction.