Concur Stakes a Bigger Claim in India with Cleartrip Investment, New International Office

4/18/11Follow @curtwoodward

Concur, which helps businesses manage travel and expense accounts, is making a couple of big moves to broaden its international reach today. The company said it has invested $40 million to obtain a minority stake in Cleartrip, a privately held online travel-booking service in India. Redmond, WA-based Concur said it’s forming a marketing partnership with Cleartrip, and opening a Concur office in India.

If the Cleartrip news sounds a little familiar, it should: Concur (NASDAQ: CNQR) started the year off by acquiring TripIt, a San Francisco-based online travel itinerary manager, for as much as $120 million. Concur subsequently made TripIt into its front door for mobile travel booking.

Concur already has offices around the globe, including Hong Kong, Sweden, France, England, Germany, and the Czech Republic. In a statement, CEO Steve Singh said the Indian expansion and Cleartrip partnership will help Concur reach “a travel sector that is expected to grow to over $20 billion by 2012.” Concur had previously worked with businesses in India, but clearly saw more room to grow.

The Cleartrip partnership sounds like it will function much how TripIt is set up for Concur in the U.S.—funneling travel booking for business customers through that interface, and tying it into the Concur tracking system on the back end. It’ll be really interesting to see how far Concur takes this expansion of using consumer-friendly tools to manage business travel— two key moves in two quarters obviously amounts to a big bet on that side of the business.

Curt Woodward is a senior editor for Xconomy based in Boston. Email: cwoodward@xconomy.com Follow @curtwoodward

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