Klook announced yesterday that it has completed a near US$60 million Series C funding. This round of investment, representing the largest deal ever for an in-destination service booking platform, is a co-investment led by Sequoia (which also led the Series B funding), Goldman Sachs and existing investor Matrix Partners, along with participation from various Asia-based family funds.
Since previous funding earlier this year, the company has doubled its staff from 200 to well over 400 located in 13 offices across Asia. Building on this momentum, Klook will use the additional financing to expand globally to capture the growing market opportunity for both Asian travellers going long-haul to North America, Europe, Australia and inbound visitors to Asia from these developed markets.
“Klook’s mission is to empower every person to travel independently, with all in-destination needs taken care of, for the ultimate hassle-free experience and more time to enjoy the trip,” says Ethan Lin, co-founder of Klook (pictured above, middle) “This round of funding gives us additional resources to further strengthen our leading position in Asia while accelerating expansion into new markets and verticals.”
“As demonstrated by its remarkable growth, Klook is a leading player in the Asian in-destination travel space and has a proven track record in cross-region business development,” said Stephanie Hui, head of principal investment area at Goldman Sachs in Asia ex-Japan, “Our investment, together with the network and resources of Goldman Sachs, will help Klook further expand and provide services globally.”
“In addition to global expansion, we plan to use the funding to accelerate the development of travel technology, which is really the core of the company. We are extremely excited at the potential of AI technology in reshaping a traveller’s experience when researching and booking a trip,” says Eric Gnock Fah, co-founder and president of Klook (pictured above, right). “One area we are pursuing is the application of machine learning to facilitate smarter search. By leveraging our large amount of data sets and millions of transactions, we look forward to enabling visual and vocal search to satisfy travellers’ spontaneity with more precise and curated options.”
Soong Chuan Sheng, general manager for Southeast Asia, Klook: “With our foray into Singapore and the wider Southeast Asian region in the past year, it is clear that Singaporeans are both seasoned and sophisticated travellers. This comes through very distinctly in their choice of travel activities – from finding ways to maximise complex products such as the Japan Rail pass, to exploring more unique custom itineraries on the outskirts of Bangkok such as Khao Yai and Hua Hin. With this round of funding and backing, we hope to strengthen the breadth of our activities to continue matching and delivering on Singaporeans’ appetite for travel experiences not just within Asia but also in Europe and the US.