Treebo Hotels acquires travel start-up Events High


Budget hotel chain Treebo Hotels, operated by Ruptub Solutions Pvt. Ltd has acquired Bengaluru-based travel start-up Events High, which operates an online discovery platform for local events and activities, said a top executive.

Treebo Hotels chief executive Sidharth Gupta said that the 15-member Events High team, including the founders, will join the company. He, however, did not disclose the financial details of the acquisition.

Events High, which was founded in 2014 by Abhishek Shrivastava, Arvind Batra, Nikesh Garera and Parag Sarda, will retain its original brand, and continue to operate independently, Gupta said, adding that over a period of time, Events High’s technology platform will be merged with Treebo’s.

Events High is present in eight cities and enables users to discover and book curated experiences and events, including trekking and camping, plays, concerts, group activities and meet-ups, among others.

Gupta said that Events High, which has over 1.5 million unique visitors on its website, will leverage Treebo’s reach across 75 cities for further expansion. Events High had raised an undisclosed amount of seed money from Axilor Ventures in December 2016.

The events and experiences market has been picking up the pace. While overseas start-ups Airbnb, Thrillophilia, and have been in news recently, the events market in India remains fragmented with many small offline and online players.

With the new acquisition, Treebo is targeting young travelers. “We are not limiting to just millennial, but to anyone looking for experiences in a city. Thanks to social media, people are now searching for new experiences and places to visit, over tangible products,” said Gupta in a phone interview.

Gupta added that Treebo customers will soon be able to book hotel rooms, and other events nearby on its platform. Besides, Treebo will also look to offer services such as cabs from airport to the hotel, taxis for local sightseeing, and travel guide. Treebo currently has over 400 hotels and 10,000 rooms.

“So far our offering has been hotels, but we are now placing ourselves as a travel company. By providing access to local events, we could supplement our core offering and truly move further to become the most-loved travel brand for customers,” added Gupta.

Last August, Treebo had raised $34 million in a Series-C round led by Hong Kong-based investors and follow-on venture capital firms SAIF, Matrix, and Bertelsmann. Its rival FabHotels had raised $25 million from Goldman Sachs, Accel and Qualcomm Ventures in July 2017.

By far the biggest deal was done by Gurugram-based OYO. The firm, which is now positioning itself as a branded hotels chain, had raised $250 million from SoftBank in September 2017.