Sequoia Capital and Softbank Back Travel Company Klook in a $200 Million Funding Series

By Adriaan Brits Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Klook, a travel startup company, said it secured $200 million in its latest funding round, amounting to a total of $720 million in raised funds.

Traveler looking out an airport window at an airplane.

No Plans to Go Public

The Series E round was led by the investment fund Aspex Management and included previous investors Sequoia Capital China, Softbank Vision Fund 1, Matrix Partners China, Boyu Capital, as well as a couple of new names, the company said in an official statement.

“Despite a challenging 2020, we have shown our mettle, turning challenges into growth opportunities with agility and constant innovation. We've observed over the past year that consumers have a pent-up desire to explore and enjoy themselves, despite international travel being paused. Instead, they are turning inwards - exploring new and unique experiences right in their backyard," said Ethan Lin, CEO and Co-Founder at Klook.

Klook is a Hong Kong-based travel activities startup that allows users to book international trips. The industry that the startup operates in was one of the hardest-hit sectors by the coronavirus and the company has lost millions of orders within the few months of the pandemic outbreak.

Fortunately, the startup quickly reorganized and pivoted to staycation and Software-as-a-service (SaaS) for local activity businesses, including ticketing, distribution, asset management, and marketing.

The latest funding round for the startup comes at a convenient time for its business, which returned to profitability last summer but said it was still in expansion mode. The company launched in 2014, and its business was valued at more than $1 billion in 2018.

The travel company refused to reveal its current valuation following the latest funding round and said it still has no plans to go public.

The travel startup noted that the demand for local travel activities increased, and bookings returned to pre-pandemic levels in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, where coronavirus-induced restrictions have been reduced. When the pandemic peaked, Klook registered an increase of 150% in activities compared to the same period in 2019.

Klook’s SaaS software is used by more than 2,500 merchants worldwide, powering millions of activity bookings. The company plans to invest the latest funds to boost business growth and launch its merchant SaaS products.

“This new capital further strengthens our leading position to take us from defense to offense, as domestic tourism becomes ubiquitous and international travel gradually returns,” Ethan Lin added.

Summary

Hong Kong-based travel company Klook raised $200 million in the Series E funding round, totaling $720 million in raised capital.

About the Author


Headshot for author Adriaan Brits
As an analyst of global affairs, Adriaan has an MSC from Oxford, with diverse interests in the digital economy, entertainment, and business. He is a specialist trainer in Advanced Analytics & Media.

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