Friday, October 22, 2021

SoftBank-backed travel tech startup Yanolja acquires Korean e-commerce company Interpark

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South Korea Travel Tech Startup Yanolja has acquired a 70% stake in a publicly traded South Korean e-commerce pioneer, Interpark, for about $ 250 million.

The company plans to use the acquisition to make more inroads into the tourism industry abroad. Interpark offers online travel booking services and international shipping to more than 230 countries and targets Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese speaking customers.

Foreign travel technology platforms dominate the international tourism industry, but Yanolja hopes to compete by scaling and building a “super app,” incorporating more of the lifestyle services Interpark has built over the years alongside the services. current Yanolja, which include hotel reservations. , cars and related travel experiences. Interpark service coverage shopping, restaurant reservations, travel tickets, attractions and live performances, a Yanolja spokesperson told TechCrunch.

The acquisition comes immediately after Yanolja raised $ 1.7 billion from SoftBank Vision Fund 2, in July. The latest investment for Yanolja was Softbank’s second-largest financing in the South Korean company after Coupang, which had received about $ 3 billion from Japanese venture capital before going public.

Yanolja is estimated to be valued at more than $ 8.4 billion (KRW 10 trillion). It reportedly plans to seek a double listing in the US and South Korea around 2023. Despite the huge cloud that has hung over the travel and tourism industries for the past 20 months, the company has experienced a significant drop in growth. In 2019, Yanolja was valued at more than $ 1 billion after closing a $ 180 million. Series D round. Yanolja declined to comment on its valuation and IPO plans.

South Korea’s largest travel tech startup was founded by a former motel manager SuJin Lee, CEO and founder of Yanolja, in 2005.

Yanolja said that it has been using its most recent investment to invest in its global travel platform (GTP) and strengthen its automated solutions through artificial intelligence, with the aim of building technology to provide more personalized solutions for users.

In July, Yanolja launched a new feature, Yanolja Cloud, a B2B operation solution, to bolster its digital transformation as demand for contactless services grows due to the pandemic. Yanolja Cloud automates online and offline operations and helps hotel operators generate more revenue by offering personalized service to guests at a lower cost. The company claims that it provides Yanolja Cloud to some 30,000 customers in 170 countries, including Southeast Asia and Africa, in 60 different languages.

Yanolja announced today that Yanolja Cloud posted 170% revenue growth in overseas market including the US, Indonesia, Philippines, India and Africa as of September year over year.

Yanolja has been making other acquisitions to scale: in 2019, it acquired South Korea’s Dailyhotel and Indian accommodation management platform eZee Technosys; In 2018 it acquired the Zen Rooms hotel chain, based in Southeast Asia.

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