Monday , June 24 2024

Klook completes $210 million funding round


Klook recently complets a $210 million funding round, increasing its total funding so far to $900 million over eight rounds. – Photo Courtesy Klook Vietnam

HCM CITY – Pan-Asian travel and leisure booking platform Klook announced on Thursday that it completed an eighth financing round worth US$210 million to support business growth and financial stability.

The equity round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners, and included BPEA EQT, investment funds Atinum Investment and Golden Vision Capital, Krungsri Finnovate, Kasikornbank Financial Conglomerate, and SMIC SG Holdings.

It also included banking facilities from Citi, JP Morgan and HSBC. 

With this, the company has raised a total of $900 million.

Earlier Klook demonstrated remarkable business success, surpassing previous milestones with a threefold increase from 2019 and boasting an annualised gross booking value of US$3 billion.

Notably, it also achieved overall profitability for the first time earlier this year.

Ethan Lin, the company’s CEO and co-founder, credits the accomplishment to the collective efforts of the team in establishing the groundwork for the post-COVID era of travel.

“During the pandemic we doubled down on our resources in merchant digitisation and the expansion of our supply network, including car rentals and outdoor experiences.

This positions us strongly to capture new travel trends coming out of the pandemic.”

Klook said it would strategically allocate the new funds to three key areas for growth. 

In product innovation, the company will expand its city pass offerings to enhance traveller convenience and savings. 

Secondly, the company will scale social and digital marketing through the Klook Kreator programme, driving conversions with authentic, social, user-generated content. 

Thirdly, the company will advance innovation through continuous AI integration. 

The recent collaboration with Google Cloud will integrate Generative AI across the platform, covering automated translations, content generation and customer service chatbot. 

The company will also collaborate with the new strategic investors in the region to increase market share and boost growth, tapping into the fast-growing middle class in Southeast Asia.

​​This year marks a very significant milestone for Klook in the Việt Nam market with double-digit growth compared to 2019, making the country one of its leading growing markets. 

Along with the new fundraising, Klook promised to keep growing digitisation for travel merchants and services in the country to get them on its platform, bringing more experiences and travel services to both domestic and inbound travellers, gearing towards positioning Việt Nam as a must-visit destination in the region.

For many Asian markets, 2023 marks the first year of travel recovery with a notable rebound in tourism figures and a gradual recovery in flight capacities. 

The company’s success is further underscored by its increasing brand strength as it strategically builds on and leverages its app-first approach to both acquire and retain customers, with over 80 per cent of bookings made through mobile today. 

The new customers added in 2023 numbered more than double that in 2019, while repeat customers contributed to over half of the total bookings, demonstrating the sustained customer loyalty fostered by the platform.

“Leveraging strong business fundamentals that led to significant growth in revenues and profits this year, including a threefold increase in productivity [revenue per headcount], we are set for a new phase of sustainable expansion,” Lin said.

“With Asia in the early stages of post-COVID recovery, upcoming global events like the Paris Olympics 2024 and Osaka World Expo 2025, along with rising expenditures and digital adoption, the industry outlook in Asia is exceptionally positive.”

Founded in 2014, Klook is Asia’s leading platform for travel experiences and services.

Its experiences range from attractions and tours to local transport and experiential stays in over 2,300 destinations globally. – VNS



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