|Sequoia Capital India, Battery Ventures invest $15 mn in Travelguru
Travel market leader raises capital for retail growth and brand building
Mumbai, November 29, 2006 — Travelguru, India’s leading online travel portal, announced that it has received a fresh infusion of capital commitment to the tune of $15 million from Battery Ventures and Sequoia Capital India. This signifies the growing confidence of global investors in Travelguru’s strong performance and market leadership in the high growth Indian travel market. The second round of funding will help in building retail initiatives to support online growth. Travelguru has very aggressive plans for marketing and brand building in the coming months.
In the past one year, Travelguru has grown to become the largest hotel consolidator in India, with access to more than 72,000 hotels worldwide and alliances with 500 airlines globally, and a leading consumer brand in the travel market. The company, well known for marketing highly innovative and value-driven hotel, holiday and travel packages, has emerged the market leader in hotel and holiday distribution services.
The number of customers who use Travelguru for their air, hotel stay and vacation needs is currently pegged at an impressive 70,000 customers a month. With a slew of promotional and strategic initiatives planned in the months ahead, the user base of Travelguru is set to grow by over 30% month on month. This tranche of investment in Travelguru by two globally renowned venture capital firms marks a significant milestone in the online travel space and is billed as the largest investment in one single round in the consumer internet space in India.
Commenting on the investment, Ashwin Damera, CEO and Founder, Travelguru said, “Our focus on delivering superior consumer experience through cutting edge technology, breadth of product offerings and best value travel deals has yielded great results to all our stakeholders. The second round of funding from Battery Ventures and Sequoia Capital reaffirms the growing confidence in Travelguru’s team and leadership position in the Indian travel and tourism industry.”
“The new round of investments will help us strengthen our reach through delivering retail experience to our consumer base as well as in making continued investments to maintain our high level of customer satisfaction and service. ”, added Mr. Damera.
“We are very happy to announce our first major investment in the consumer internet space in India with Travelguru. Given our experience in technology in general and consumer internet specifically, we selectively look for companies with a few key ingredients: companies that address large markets, have very strong leadership, and have shown they can deliver innovative offerings as well as execute on sales and marketing. In a short span of time, Ashwin and his team have established a distinct identity for Travelguru in the online travel space in India.
We expect them to lead the market with solid industry relationships, continued product innovations, and high quality customer experiences,” according to Mark Sherman, General Partner, Battery Ventures.
“We are delighted that US based Battery Ventures has chosen to join in on the second round of funding for Travelguru. This reflects our growing confidence in Travelguru’s market position and capabilities. The growing consumer base and the leadership status of being the largest hotel consolidator in the Indian online travel market highlight the unique position of Travelguru. We are very excited to be partnering with Ashwin and the team to continue to innovate and build the leading online travel company in India” says KP Balaraj, Managing Director Sequoia Capital India.