Private equity firm Livingbridge has invested in online travel agency loveholidays that will enable the business to explore further growth opportunities in the UK and across the globe.
The investment will also be used for expansion that will support further product innovation and drive repeat booking rates. Loveholidays is the fastest growing online ATOL holder in the UK. ATOL is a governmental regulatory requirement for tour operators who sell flight and accommodation package holidays.
Loveholidays CEO Alex Francis said: “This investment is great news for our business and we are delighted that Livingbridge is investing in the next stage on our really exciting journey and will enable us to drive the business further forwards. We have seen significant growth since we founded loveholidays in 2012 and will continue to offer our customers the great choice and booking flexibility for short and long haul beach holidays that they have grown to love.”
Livingbridge is a group of experienced investors in the travel sector and is known to back companies and start-ups such as Enigma Travel, On the Beach and Travel Jigsaw, as well as current investees Direct Ferries and Sykes Cottages.
The company did not mention the amount of investment and what share of the business it now owns. However, it was widely tipped that Livingbridge put down a £180 million (US$239 m) investment.
“Best-in-class technology platform and a disruptive customer proposition”
“Having known Alex and his team for years, we’re thrilled to be partnering with them. With an experienced and ambitious management team, best-in-class technology platform and a disruptive customer proposition, Loveholidays is an incredibly exciting travel business with a fantastic future ahead,” Daniel Smith, partner at Livingbridge, said.
Loveholidays was founded by Alex Francis and Jonny Marsh in 2012 and now operates a team of 140.
Co-founder of Loveholidays Jonny Marsh added: “Livingbridge are very experienced investors in this sector with a proven track record having backed Enigma Travel, On the Beach and Travel Jigsaw and we are excited to be working with them. The market is growing with online dynamic packaged holidays accounting for £3bn of holiday spending in 2017 and we are well placed with this additional investment to drive further growth.”