Evaly, the leading local online commerce company with operations in ecommerce and food delivery, has acquired online travel agency Flight Expert, per Financial Express. The companies did not disclose the details of the deal. However, FE suggests naming unnamed sources that Flight Expert was valued at over $5 million at the time of transaction.
With the acquisition, Evaly enters the fast-growing online travel vertical. Online travel has seen meaningful growth in Dhaka over the past few years. Players like ShareTrip, Flight Expert, and Go Zayaan have helped push the envelope and grow the vertical. An increasingly tech-savvy consumer base has also helped.
However, the coronavirus pandemic has battered the travel industry. As international and domestic travel either remain suspended or significantly limited, the majority of travel companies have been facing an uphill battle navigating the crisis.
Launched in 2017, Flight Expert is one of the largest online travel agencies in Bangladesh. The company claims to have over 500 airlines and 9 lakh hotels, both local and international, on its platform.
Evaly was officially launched on December 16, 2018. The company claims it has more than 5 million consumers and more than 20,000 merchants on its platform.
Evaly says Flight Expert will continue to operate independently and its existing board will continue. The company says it plans to make significant investments in travel to grow the business in the coming days.
Started as an ecommerce marketplace, Evaly has expanded into multiple verticals in the past two years. It has seen excellent growth in food delivery apart from its ecommerce business. The company says it plans to invest in online jobs and digital health in the coming days.
Evaly continues to be a dominant player in ecommerce despite steep competition from Alibaba’s Daraz. But the company continues to face a relentless deluge of customer complaints for poor order fulfillment records.
Evaly expanding into more verticals could be read from two perspectives: a) using its lead in general-purpose e-commerce, Evaly aims to build businesses in more verticals and thus building stronger competitive moats b) finding new growth levers as it hits a plateau in ecommerce owing to its reputational challenges. Either way, Evaly getting into online travel is likely to create new competitive dynamics in the sector.