Klook, an online platform for experiences and travel services in Asia, has announced closing a new US$210 million financing round.
Bessemer Venture Partners led the round, with participation from BPEA EQT, Atinum Investment, and Golden Vision Capital.
Krungsri Finnovate (under Bank of Ayudhya), Kasikornbank Financial Conglomerate, and SMIC SG Holdings, besides Citi, JP Morgan, and HSBC, co-invested.
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Klook will strategically allocate the new funds
1) For product innovation and expanding its city pass offerings to enhance traveller convenience and savings.
2) To scale social and digital marketing through the Klook Kreator programme, driving conversions with authentic, social, user-generated content.
3) To 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.
Klook will also collaborate with its new regional strategic investors to increase market share and boost growth, tapping into the fast-growing middle class in Southeast Asia.
Launched in 2014, Klook curates “quality” experiences ranging from attractions and tours to local transport and experiential stays in over 2,300 destinations globally. Over 80 per cent of bookings are made through mobile. The firm claims the influx of new customers acquired in 2023 more than doubled that of 2019, while repeat customers contributed to over half of the total bookings.
Klook boasts an annualised gross booking value of US$3 billion. The firm also claims to have achieved overall profitability for the first time earlier this year.
Ethan Lin, CEO and Co-Founder, said: “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.”
“Leveraging strong business fundamentals that led to significant growth in revenue and profit this year, including a threefold increase in productivity (revenue per headcount), we are set for a new phase of sustainable expansion. 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,” added Lin.
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In January 2021, Klook secured US$200 million in its Series E funding round, led by local investment firm Aspex Management. Previously, in 2019, it bagged US$225 million in a Series D+ round led by SoftBank Vision Fund.
The global travel industry is projected to soar to a staggering US$15.5 trillion by 2033, with Asia Pacific leading the way as the fastest-growing region. With a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11 per cent in the Asia Pacific (from 2023-2028), almost doubling that of North America and Europe, this dynamic region is set to capture a larger share of the global travel market, driven by a burgeoning middle class, increased consumer spending, and a growing appetite for unique experiences.
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