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Times Group Acquires Stake In Travel Masti

So here’s a travel portal that wasn’t in my ever burgeoning list online travel agents (OTAs): Travelmasti.com. The company, Travel Masti Holidays, has received an undisclosed amount of investment from Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL, also known as the Times Group). reports BCCL group publication Economic Times. The site offers hotel reservations and is in the process of expanding into other services like “hotel representation services and travel agency transaction businesses”.

BCCL has invested before in the OTA space – they’d bought 17 percent stake in Holiday IQ earlier this year. The report doesn’t say what the money will be used for, or whether BCCL has invested money or just taken stake in exchange for advertising inventory – something which it is rumored to do. So here’s a question for all the entrepreneurs reading this – would you sell stake in exchange for advertising inventory? Why or why not?

9 Responses to “Times Group Acquires Stake In Travel Masti”

  1. This deal is definitely equity for advertising..

    As advertising costs go down, profitability increases, and the value of the company increases beyond the stake that has been sold.. so it's win-win for the parties as long as the advertising on the times network will really benefit travelmasti in getting traffic onto their site..

  2. have some experience in dealing with the treaties group at Times which does such deals – they mainly take equity against Ad inventory. The critical thing is that this Ad inventory is essentially the 'empty' inventory and not the primary inventory and the company has no control on where the Ad appears.

    The people from the Treaties side are 'salesman' of their inventory not investors per se. So, one would not be expecting to get anything from them. They are primarily for companies which are not able to get VC/ Angel backing.

  3. What about Indiatimes Travel? Seems they accepted that they cannot crack the travel vertical by themselves and looking for options outside?

    BCCL had already invested before in HolidayIQ and nothing later happened with it. Expect same with TravelMasti. Their focus keeps on changing… TImesJobs, then Mail, and now Travel.

    Does anyone recall Wallet 365.. signed up Big B as a brand ambassador and closed the shop in just 2 weeks?

    Its a good news for Travel Masti guys to have some cash in hand.. as it wouldnt be possible to convince any VC for funding another OTA in India.

  4. yes, definitely….. specially for small cash strapped companies without any VC backing. it makes sense. before bubble1.0 people would give shares/equity to their landlords in return for no rent… so i dont see why this is a bad idea.