12 Mn monthly active users, over 40 Mn app downloaded, $25 Mn in funding and more than 300,000 monthly transactions. Looking at these numbers, it is easy to forget the struggles and adversities that ixigo’s founding team went through when starting up. In its decade-long journey, the travel search marketplace has weathered many storms, from the financial catastrophe of 2008 to have a Series A funding offer withdrawn just days before signing the documents. For ixigo co-founder and CEO Aloke Bajpai, however, there are lessons to be learnt from all of these setbacks.
Founded in 2006 by Aloke Bajpai and Rajnish Kumar, ixigo is a travel search platform that claims to connect over 80 Mn travellers with content and deals from over 25,000 online as well as offline partners. It aggregates and compares real-time travel information, prices and availability of flights, trains, buses, cabs, hotels, packages and destinations. In an overcrowded space where digital penetration is still very low, ixigo has embraced new, innovative technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to improve its products and the user experience.
A tenacious entrepreneur, Aloke is known among his team for his business acumen, consumer-centric thinking, intuition, creativity and perseverance. Prior to launching ixigo, he worked in various technology roles at Amadeus SAS, France, where he was part of the team that built web-based cruise-line booking engine for agencies. Since then, his love for Internet products and Croissants has never abated.
Despite ixigo’s phenomenal growth in the last few years, Aloke has remained remarkably grounded, valuing transparency and hard work over quick fixes. An IIT Kanpur Electrical Engineering alumnus and an MBA graduate from INSEAD, he possesses the pertinacity and patience that even the best entrepreneurs and startup founders lack. He is a mentor and advisor for several startups and accelerators. He has also made investments in companies like Sourceeasy and ZAPR.
Looking at his vast contribution to the Indian startup ecosystem and success of ixigo, we decided to host Aloke Bajpai for the Inc42 Facebook Live AMA. During his AMA, Aloke spoke about how ixigo is growth hacking its way to more than $7.7 Mn revenue (INR 50 Cr).