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Adani Group Seals Deal to Acquire Trainman, Revolutionizing Railway Ticketing

Trainman is backed by powerhouse investors Goodwater Capital and Ivy Growth Associates

17 June 2023

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Jayashri Ghorpade

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  • Trainman, a railway ticketing platform, is set to be fully acquired by Adani Digital Labs, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Adani Enterprises, as per the recently signed agreement.

  • Last valued at INR 80 crore, Trainman has attracted notable investors including Goodwater Capital and Ivy Growth Associates.

  • This recent development aligns with the strategic direction of the Adani Group, which introduced Adani One, a flight ticket and cab booking platform, last year, indicating their efforts to strengthen their presence in the ticketing sector.

Adani Enterprises announced on Friday (June 16) that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Adani Digital Labs Private Ltd, has entered into an agreement to acquire Trainman, a railway ticketing startup.

 

In a regulatory filing with the exchanges, the company stated, "...we would like to inform you that Adani Digital Labs... has signed a share purchase agreement for the proposed acquisition of a 100% stake in Stark Enterprises, also known as Trainman, an online train booking and information platform."

 

The financial details of the deal were not disclosed; however, Trainman was previously valued at approximately INR 80 crore. The startup last raised $1 million in seed funding in July of last year.

 

Established in 2016 by Vineet Chirania and Karan Kumar, Trainman is an online platform for train bookings and information. Notable investors in Trainman include Goodwater Capital and Ivy Growth Associates. The company competes directly with Confirmtkt, which was acquired by ixigo in 2021.

 

This acquisition is likely a strategic move by the Adani Group to strengthen its presence in the ticketing sector. Over the past two years, the conglomerate has pursued several acquisitions across various industries to bolster its travel division.

 

In December 2022, the conglomerate introduced Adani One, a platform for booking flight tickets and cabs. Additionally, in October 2021, it acquired a reported 20% minority stake in ClearTrip, an online travel aggregator owned by Flipkart.

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There were also reports at the end of last year that the Adani Group was considering investing in a fleet of passenger vehicles for listing on the ride-hailing platform Uber. It was suggested that these vehicles would be deployed in cities where the Adani Group operates airports.

 

With these various initiatives underway, the conglomerate may be exploring the development of a superapp dedicated to travelers. Leveraging its existing resources in operating airports, the Group aims to make significant inroads into the Indian travel space.

 

It is worth noting that Trainman, a part of the conglomerate, incurred losses exceeding INR 1.2 crore in FY22, representing a sixfold increase from FY21. However, its revenue doubled to INR 2.5 crore during FY22.

 

Amid the ongoing funding shortage that has left numerous startups deprived of funds, the acquisition by Adani Group of Trainman, a move prompted by undisclosed reasons, underscores the prevailing trend of startups seeking funding or merging with larger entities.

 

The Indian startup ecosystem has witnessed a growing number of mergers and acquisitions (M&As), with 240 recorded last year, and this trend shows signs of intensifying in the current year. Notably, VLCC recently announced its acquisition of Ustraa, followed closely by fintech startup CredFlow's acquisition of TechBiz, a Y Combinator-backed business management startup.

 

With expectations of a further decline in funding opportunities, the future of the Indian startup ecosystem remains uncertain. Adani Group's partnership with Trainman indicates their plans to disrupt the travel sector, although the exact nature of their strategy is yet to be revealed.

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