SoftBank-backed travel platform Klook raises $200M amid COVID-19 – TechCrunch

Hong Kong-based travel activity platform Kang, backed by SoftBank Vision Fund, announced the closure of $ 200 million in funding for its Series E round, raising the startup’s total capital to $ 720 million.

The round was led by Espex Management, an investment fund focused on Asia Pacific, with a handful of new investors, along with the existing Backro Sequoia Capital China, SoftBank Vision Fund 1, Matrix Partners China, Bio Capital.

Congratulating the global economy for protecting funds on a large scale during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic sacks, not to mention Klook is severely affected by the virus in an industry. The startup, which enables its mostly Asia-based users to book activities in foreign destinations, lost millions of orders in the first few months due to travel restrictions. The company quickly reassembled for a pivot stay and software-as-a-service for local activity merchants, including ticketing, distribution, inventory management and marketing. The booking resumed later.

Co-founder and chief operating officer Eric Gnock Fay told TechCrunch, “There are things at home as well as local things for people to travel.” In an interview in July. “now [the pandemic] Giving us an opportunity to add a new aspect to it. “

New funding arrives on time. Klook reached profitability in several markets by last July, but overall was still in an aggressive expansion mode, it told TechCrunch at the time. Founded in 2014, Klook exceeded $ 1 billion in valuations in 2018, but declined to reveal its latest post-money valuation, which has almost certainly increased as it reached unicorn status. The company currently has no plans to go public, a spokesperson told TechCrunch.

In Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan where COVID-19 restrictions have been gradually reduced, Klook said it has seen increased spending on local activities, with bookings approaching pre-COVID levels. At the height of the epidemic, Klook commissioned 150% more activities in 2019 than in the same period.

Today, Klook’s SaaS software empowers millions of bookings for over 2,500 merchants worldwide. With the proceeds from the new investment, it will continue to work on the development and roll-out of its merchant SaaS solution.

“The new capital strengthened our leading position to move us from defense to crime, as domestic tourism returns slowly and international travel returns slowly,” said Ethan Lin, co-founder and chief executive officer in Qian he said.