ItzCash parent Ebix acquires online travel company Via.com

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US-based insurance exchange and software services firm Ebix has acquired Bengaluru-based online travel company Via.com for $75 million.

Ebix’s Singapore arm is acquiring Via.com, a move which will help the former further expand its distribution network in South East Asia.

“I believe that the addition of Via’s integrated platform into our rapidly growing EbixCash financial exchange 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,” said Robin Raina, chief executive officer of Ebix, reported ET.

Formerly known as FlightRaja, Via.com, which was set up in 2007 by Vinay Gupta and Amit Aggarwal, has over 110,000 distribution outlets and 8,000 corporate clients. It processes over 24.5 million transactions every year.

Backed by venture capital investors, including Kalaari Capital and Sequoia Capital, 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.

The Via distribution network encompasses over 85,000 agents in India, 14,700 agents in Indonesia, 9,900 agents in the Philippines, 600 agents in Singapore and 350 agents in UAE and Oman.

Ebix Inc., a supplier of on-demand software and e-commerce services to the insurance, financial, e-governance and healthcare industries, intends to create a financial exchange to cater to all the payment needs of its customers starting from remittance, bill payments, insurance and even travel.

The company entered the Indian market with the purchase of an 80 per cent stake in ItzCash for Rs 800 crore from Essel Group and other shareholders in May. Before this acquisition, the payments company had acquired Wall Street Finance, YouFirst Money Express, and Paul Merchants. So far it has spent around $60-65 million in acquiring remittance businesses in the country.

Ebix said that it expects the business to generate around $33 million in revenue in 2018 with an operating margin of approximately 30 per cent. The firm has also recently partnered with the BSE to create an Insurance Distribution Exchange platform.

In September, Ebix acquired Paul Merchants Ltd’s International remittance business for Rs 262.77 crore. The firm had also pledged a fund of $100 million to make more investments and acquisitions in Indian companies via ItzCash.

Ebix: Website

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