Traveloka, Jakarta-based online travel agency, has announced that it has raised US$ 250M to enhance its operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even though the name of the company who led the round is not disclosed, it is known that it is a “global financial institution”. Existing investors including East Ventures also participated in the round.
Last July, The Wall Street Journal reported that Traveloka was aiming to raise as much as US$ 500M in funding. Although the latest sum is below that figure, Traveloka is optimistic that it will contribute to the rebound of travel.
An Indonesian unicorn company, Traveloka provides solutions for customer’s travel needs including flights, hotels, trains, bus, activities, car rental, restaurants. It is rapidly expanding into Southeast Asia and Australia. Since 2012, more than 60 million people across Asia have downloaded Traveloka’s app.
However, the business has been impacted hugely by border closures and strict lockdowns. Ferry Unardi, co-founder and CEO of Traveloka, said that Traveloka experienced the lowest business rate ever seen since inception. However, the company said it will prevail by rapidly adjusting strategies, working with industry and ecosystem partners, and continuously innovating.
To accelerate the recovery of travel, Traveloka has launched a flexible “Buy Now Stay Later” voucher for its services. Some of these services include accommodations in hotels, apartments and short-term rentals, online experiences, and weekly live virtual tour streams.
Statements from Traveloka
According to Traveloka, funding will help build “a more robust and integrated Travel & Lifestyle portfolio in key markets as well as expanding its Financial Services solutions to better support ecosystem partners.”
Ferry Unardi said that Traveloka would be directing the funds towards boosting its domestic travel offering (Travel & Lifestyle portfolio) in key markets as travel restrictions ease across the region. Additionally, it will be growing its financial services solutions to “better support ecosystem partners” affected by the pandemic.
The co-founder revealed his anticipation for the reopening of the travel sector. He noted an “encouraging recovery across its key markets” including Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia due to the resurgence in regional travel and activity bookings by holidaymakers.
According to the co-founder, the business in Vietnam is approaching pre-COVID-19 levels. In Thailand, it is on its way to surpass 50%. However, even though in Indonesia and Malaysia it is still in the early stage, it demonstrates momentum with strong week-to-week improvement, especially in accommodation with the emergence of shorter-distance staycation behaviour.
“We acknowledge that the sector may go through further turbulence as it navigates new waves, but we feel we are prepared to take on the challenge and emerge on the right side of it,” added Unardi.