The Bangalore-based company, formerly known as Flight Raja Travels Pvt. Ltd, also plans to sell shares to the public in India and the U.S. to raise as much as $1 billion in the next 18 months to 24 months, said Vinay Gupta, co-founder and chief executive of the company.

The travel company turned profitable in 2007, Gupta said, without revealing its revenue and profit numbers. According to Via's website, its annual revenue is $500 million.

Via, which mostly caters to corporate clients, will launch an online platform for individual customers from April. It has outlets in 1,700 cities and towns in India, besides offices in North America, West Asia, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. It has at least 50,000 registered travel agents.

The travel services company, which is growing at an average rate of about 60% a year, will need capital to back its plan to have a presence in 50 countries that have flight connections to Bangalore and New Delhi, said a person familiar with the company's plans, who didn't want to be named.

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