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Via - Your Travel Partner
Via is a prominent player in the online travel sector, which has witnessed tremendous growth in the last few years. According to data released by the Ministry of Tourism, the online travel sector comprising more than 50 percent of the total e-commerce industry in India, is estimated to be in the range of US$ 11-16 billion. The sector is dominated by three key players – Makemytrip.com, Cleartrip.com, and Yatra.com.
According to a recent Millward Brown Report, hotel bookings through online channels is growing significantly, with online channels having contributed 25 per cent of the overall hotel bookings in India in 2015. Hotel-booking on the move through mobile devices has emerged as the biggest driver for the growth of the sector. There is a growing trend of travelling companies offering incentives through huge discounts, cash back proposals and gift vouchers to book online, besides encouraging to download their mobile apps.
Key factors behind the unprecedented growth in revenues include:
- increasing internet and mobile penetration
- growing acceptability of online payments
- favourable demographics (significant proportion of young population)
Via.com was started in July 2006 and incorporated in February 2007 in the name of Flightraja.com, based out of Bangalore. It is an online travel agency offering flight tickets, hotel bookings, exclusive holiday packages and even bus tickets and car bookings through its travel partners. Via networks with more than 20,000 partners across 2,400 cities in India to make these options accessible to its users. Via.com has also launched its app like other travel portals. This enables easy access to its webpage - over 1 million customers use the Via app.
Via was launched by its founder and Chairman Vinay Gupta, along with Amit Aggarwal, in order to organise the fragmented travel services market in India and improve the quality and service levels. In 2007, Via received a funding of $5 million from NEA IndoUS Ventures which helped them to expand beyond airline services, which they started with.
In 2010, Sequoia Capital closed a $10 million infusion of funds into Via’s holding company FlightRaja Travels. Thereafter, Via.com hasn't looked back. Its current reported revenues are ~$700 million.
At present, apart from the online B2C business, Via.com has dedicated services for corporate and MICE clients. Their B2B business remains their core strength.
Via.com has an employee base of 650 people out of its headquarters in Bangalore and more than 100 people are based in Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and UAE, where they have operations apart from India.
Via.com gives utmost importance to customer service. They encourage their customers to simply email or SMS and they respond with a call-back from their end.