IPO: B2B travel booking site TBO.com plans Rs 1,500-2,000 crore IPO
The travel booking site is an aggregator of airfares, hotels and vacation packages for the travel industry and is used by 60,000 travel agents to book inventory for their customers. It has links with 700,000 hotels in over 100 countries.
TBO.com’s parent company, TBO Tek Limited, has appointed Axis Capital, JM Financial, Jefferies and Credit Suisse as bookrunners for its upcoming IPO, the sources said.
The company was founded by Ankush Nijhawan and Gaurav Bhatnagar in 2006. Nijhawan is an alumnus of Boston University while Bhatnagar studied Computer Science at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi.
The online platform recorded a gross merchandise value of $1.5 billion in 2020, according to people familiar with the matter.
Nijhawan has not commented on this story.
TBO.com has expanded its international B2B hosting wholesale business into the Middle East and Africa over the past three years. However, its mainstay is the business which focuses on serving the needs of India-based travel agents.
It has international offices in China, the Netherlands, Brazil, the United States, Mexico, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore.
South African tech investor Naspers, which previously controlled Makemytrip.com, was an investor in TBO.com until 2018 when it sold its stake to Standard Chartered Private Equity.
Standard Chartered’s stake was transferred to a company called Affirma Capital founded by the bank’s former global private equity boss Nainesh Jaisingh in 2019. Jaisingh had orchestrated a management buyout of Standard’s PE business Chartered for $1 billion that year and absorbed all of the bank’s investments. Udai Dhawan, former India director of Standard Chartered’s PE business, has also joined Affirma and sits on the board of TBO.com.
Travel agencies Ixigo.com and Yatra are also in the queue to launch IPOs.
“Investors have typically picked hotel or aerospace stocks when sentiment around the travel industry is positive. With a new set of companies making travel easier by tapping into the IPO market, investors will have more choice and it will definitely deepen the market,” said Devang Mehta, Head of Equity Advisory, Centrum Wealth.