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Hong Kong-Based Travel Booking Startup Just Raised $200M For Major U.S. and European Expansion
Capital Markets, FinTech
Klook, a Hong Kong-based travel booking platform announced that it has closed US$200 million in Series D funding, giving it $300 million in total financing and reportedly securing its place on the list of global unicorns.
The funding round was led by Sequoia China, Matrix Partners, Goldman Sachs, Boyu Capital and TCV, an Asia-based sovereign wealth fund. Other investors include OurCrowd and several family offices.
A spokesperson for Klook tells TechCrunch that the latest funding round values the company at more than $1 billion, but did not disclose an exact valuation. However, if it is worth more than $1 billion, that would put Klook on the vaunted unicorn list of startups that have crossed that threshold.
With the new funding in tow, Klook is planning a big expansion into the European and U.S. markets, which includes opening its first office in the latter by the end of this year. Eric Gnock Fah, COO and Co-Founder of Klook, tells TechCrunch that this first stateside office will likely be in New York, “but I believe we’ll scale up to have teams on the West Coast and probably mid-West, too.”
Klook, which was founded in 2014, says it offers travelers more than 50,000 activities and services provided by over 5,000 industry partners in more than 200 destinations across the globe.
This goal push is two-fold. It’s aimed at tapping into the increased demand for global travel from Asian tourists, and particularly those in China, whilst also bringing Western travelers to Asia where they can tap into Klook’s ecosystem of activities and services.
“This round is really gearing up to global expansion,” Gnock Fah said. “There’s still plenty of growth in Asia but now we will be really accelerating our growth into the U.S. and Europe. We’re really entering the global stage [and attracting an investor like] TCV is a testament to what we’re looking to achieve as a global player.”
In addition to its home base in Hong Kong – and its plans for New York – Klook most recently opened offices in London and Amsterdam. The company says it now has more than 600 employees in 16 offices worldwide.
“Our mission is to empower travelers to build their own unique journey,” Ethan Lin, CEO and Co-Founder of Klook, said in a statement. “This round of funding marks an important milestone for us. The funding and extensive experience from our new investors will let us to further solidify our merchant portfolio and provide travelers with even more activities and destinations to explore around the world.”