A new travel engine just launched yesterday, So whats so different about Ixigo. Well as they bluntly mention on their website they do not sell anything, but they hope to make buying, travel related services online more comprehensive and let’s just say trouble free. I spoke to Aloke Bajpai Founder & CEO, here’s the encounter that brings forth everything from the ideation behind Ixigo to where it plans to travel in future.
Q) What was the rational behind iXiGO?
iXiGO was conceived when we realized that consumers in India had really started engaging with online travel sites with increasing proliferation of travel and airline websites. So, consumers had to go through different airline or travel sites to seek the best deals/prices. We realized that there was a need for a site which provided an unbiased, comprehensive and transparent travel search.
Q) What was the thought behind the name?
We basically wanted a short & easy name which sounded ‘young, fresh and path breaking’. The name was meant to be abstract but something which clicked with the customer. However, since we have been around, people have variously interpreted iXiGO as I ‘C’ I Go or I Xplore I Go.
Q) In Ixigo’s showcase at Proto earlier this year you’ll mentioned your services would include, not only flights but also hotels, restaurants etc. When do we expect to see the same?
The reason we launched our service with only the airline search engine is because we recognized that a flight airfare search is used more often, than hotels etc. Through our initial flight search we wish to showcase our comprehensiveness, neutrality and transparency. So that our patrons get a flavor of what’s to come.
Q) How different are you’ll form your Competition?
For the Travelers, Of the Travelers, By the traveler is what Ixigo runs by. iXiGO will continue to be guided by the consumers it serves. We want to make sure that iXiGO users always have an ecstatic experience. Once we realize that there is a need or a demand for a particular product/service/feature – we will invest our time in it. This consumer centric attitude is what’ll differentiate us in the long term.
Q What is your status on Funding?
We are self funded and have received
angle angel funding. Going forward, we shall be looking at Series A funding
Q) Could you please share your Revenue Model?
We earn money from two sources. One is from the providers we have on our website. We get a commission fee from the providers, whenever a user goes from Ixigo.com and makes, a booking on their website.
Our second sources are the advertisements we show you on the search result pages. We will try to show relevant sponsored links that are related to the users search. Our Ad’s will be placed in a manner that does not confuse the user.
Q) What are the Short Term and Long term plans for Ixigo?
In the short run, we will be focusing on strengthening our current offering and adding a few new key products as well as access channels. We also want to focus our energy on building a loyal consumer base. I am glad to report that on the very first day of our launch we had over 1000 registered users. We are targeting a unique user base of 5000 unique visitors at the end of our first month (50,000 users at the end of 5 months). We will also be launching a mobile search platform for our airline engine soon.
Ultimately in the long run we want iXiGO to be ‘The 1st point of travel search for everyone.’