The redBus.in Saga: Managing the Start-up Acquisition Phase
In June 2013, redbus.in, a bus ticketing website, was acquired by the Ibibo Group, a subsidiary of South Africa based internet and media firm Naspers Ltd, for USD 135 million. Soon after signing the deal, Phanindra Sama - CEO and co-founder of redBus, went for a holiday to London along with his parents. Sama remained incommunicado during the 10 day trip by not acquiring a local number and not accessing his emails. During Sama's absence, senior management team of Alok Goel and Satish Gidugu at redBus along with three mid-level managers submitted their resignation. Apart from employees of redBus, the Ibibo takeover team was also 'foxed' as desperate calls and emails to Sama elicited no response. This case examines the chaos created due to Sama's absence and helps in understanding the issues when a technology start up is acquired.