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Harmeet Singh is new CEO of RateGain

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Harmeet Singh comes on board at a time when RateGain is undertaking due diligence for its third buyout, which is likely to be in Europe.
NEW DELHI: Software as a Service (SaaS) company RateGain has appointed Harmeet Singh, a former executive partner at US-based private equity firm MDP Partners, as its new CEO, even as the Noida-based travel technology firm looks to close its third overseas acquisition in the past two years.

RateGain, which counts private equity major TA Associates as its sole institutional backer, will see current CEO Bhanu Chopra transition to the chairman’s role and undertake more client-facing and product development duties.

“(Harmeet’s) experience in global M&A will be an asset to the company as we build out a complete suite of digital products to solve the pain-points in travel and hospitality. We have grown four times in the past two years, and to further build on our success, I plan to focus sharply on disruptive product strategy,” Chopra said.

Singh comes on board at a time when RateGain is undertaking due diligence for its third buyout, which is likely to be in Europe.

In June, Chopra had told ET that the company was scouting for multiple acquisitions to expand its footprint, as it looked to evolve into a one-step shop platform to service the broader travel industry.

“We are currently evaluating 10-15 potential acquisition opportunities in the United States and Europe, and will continue to accelerate our M&A rollup,” Chopra had said. “We are looking for companies in the revenue management and digital marketing and distribution solutions segments within the travel and hospitality segment. The acquisitions could range from $25-75 million,” he had said.

RateGain will fund its buyouts through a mix of internal accruals and debt, having raised an undisclosed amount of debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank.

In June, RateGain acquired Chicago-based, hospitality sector-focused digital marketing services provider BCV for an estimated Rs 175-Rs 200 crore, its second transaction in the US, having purchased hotel distribution service DHISCO for an undisclosed sum in August 2018.

The company, which had raised $50 million from TA Associates in its only round of funding in 2015, offers a range of services to travel and hospitality firms.

These services primarily focus on how to increase their revenue, including providing AI and machine learning-based real-time intelligence on when to opt for surge pricing, depending on factors such as weather conditions, possible events and how the competitors are pricing themselves, to managing distribution of their rates to other online portals.

RateGain, founded in 2004, works with some of the world’s largest online travel operators, including, hotel chains, airlines, car rental chains and cruise lines. It counts the likes of SoftBank-backed hospitality chain OYO, Nasdaq-listed MakeMyTrip, the Taj Group of hotels and IndiGo Airlines among clients in India.

Globally, according to Chopra, the company works with 125,000-plus hotels, spread across 191 countries, powering 30 million bookings in the process.
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