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- Successful funding round led by renowned international investors and regional corporate investment arms
- Achieves overall profitability for the first time with 3x top-line growth from pre-COVID levels
SINGAPORE, Dec. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Klook, Asia’s leading platform for experiences and travel services, announces that it has successfully completed a US$210 million financing, supporting business growth and fortifying financial stability. 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.
For many Asian markets, 2023 marks the first year of travel recovery with a notable rebound in tourism figures and a gradual recovery in flight capacities. Despite this early stage in market recovery, Klook has demonstrated remarkable business success, surpassing previous milestones with a threefold increase compared to 2019 and boasting an annualized gross booking value of US$3 billion. Notably, the company also achieved overall profitability for the first time earlier this year.
Ethan Lin, CEO and Co-Founder, credits this accomplishment to the collective efforts of the team in establishing the groundwork for the post-COVID era of travel. "During the pandemic, we doubled down on our resources in merchant digitization 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," said Lin.
The company’s success is further underscored by its increasing brand strength, strategically building on and leveraging its app-first approach to both acquire and retain customers, with over 80% of bookings made through mobile today. Impressively, 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.
"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.
The global travel industry is projected to soar to a staggering US$15.5 trillion by 2033, with Asia Pacific leading the way as the fastest-growing region. With a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11% in the Asia Pacific (from 2023-2028), almost doubling that of North America and Europe, this dynamic region is set to capture a larger share of the global travel market, driven by a burgeoning middle class, increased consumer spending, and a growing appetite for unique experiences. Klook remains focused on catering to the increasing demand for immersive travel among Asian customers and showcasing the best of Asia to inbound travelers.
"We are pioneering a transformative era of travel, catering to a new generation of more digitally-savvy travelers with bigger and bolder appetites for unique experiences. Our goal is to empower travelers 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," shared Eric Gnock Fah, COO and Co-Founder of Klook.
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 program, driving conversions with authentic, social, user-generated content. Thirdly, by advancing innovation through continuous AI integration. The 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.
Klook is Asia’s leading platform for experiences and travel services. We curate quality experiences ranging from attractions and tours to local transport and experiential stays, in over 2,300 destinations globally. Founded in 2014, we are here to inspire and enable more moments of joy for travelers anytime, anywhere.
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