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Klook raises US$210m funding as it achieves profitable growth

Klook raises US$210m funding as it achieves profitable growth

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Hong Kong-based online travel platform Klook has raised US$210m funding, to support its business growth and fortify financial stability as it turns profitable for the first time. 

The equity round is led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from BPEA EQT, Asia investment funds Atinum Investment and Golden Vision Capital, and corporate investment arms from Southeast Asia, including Krungsri Finnovate (under Bank of Ayudhya), Kasikornbank Financial Conglomerate and SMIC SG Holdings. The round also includes bank facilities from Citi, J.P. Morgan, and HSBC.

This comes as Klook has surpassed previous milestones with a threefold increase compared to 2019 and recorded an annualised gross booking value of US$3 bn. Notably, the company also achieved overall profitability for the first time earlier this year.

The company also strategically built on and leveraged its app-first approach to both acquire and retain customers, with over 80% of bookings made through mobile today, according to the release. 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, demonstrating the sustained customer loyalty fostered by the platform, said the company.

Don't miss: Klook looks to create KOL community as part of 9th anniversary celebration

Klook will strategically allocate the new funds to three key areas for growth. Firstly, in product innovation, expanding its city pass offerings to enhance traveler convenience and savings. Secondly, by scaling social and digital marketing through the Klook Kreator programme, driving conversions with authentic, social, user-generated content.

Thirdly, the company will use the funds to advance innovation through continuous AI integration. Its 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.

Don't miss: Klook bolsters localised content and engagement with Google Cloud's gen AI

Ethan Lin (pictured middle), CEO and co-founder, Klook, 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.

“We are pioneering a transformative era of travel, catering to a new generation of more digitally-savvy travellers with bigger and bolder appetites for unique experiences. Our goal is to empower travellers to explore the world effortlessly through the Klook app, a one-stop platform that seamlessly connects them to a comprehensive range of in-destination services, encompassing immersive experiences and convenient ground transportation,” said Eric Gnock Fah (pictured left), COO and co-founder of Klook.

Back in 2018, Klook closed US$200 million in Series D funding, bringing its total financing to date to US$300 million. The company aimed to use the funds to expand its global footprint, with plans to open an office in the US by the end of 2018. The company will also look to add more US and Europe-based curated activities and services onto the platform to fulfil an increasing demand from Asian travellers for diverse and unique in-destination experiences.

Simultaneously, Klook will look to bring more US and European travellers to Asia, supporting the company's long-term vision of serving travellers worldwide to easily discover destinations that are both popular and unique.

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