Edinburgh-based, massively popular travel search giant Skyscanner announced on Tuesday that it has raised $192 million in a fresh fundraise, reportedly sky-rocketing company’s current net worth to well over $1.6 billion.
The investment round included five new backers along with the existing investors SAP and Sequoia. Financial Times reports, that this investment round also brings the travel giant to the unicorn status.
The company says that this new capital will be used to expand its services to new markets around the world and make acquisitions. Each investment round is made up of primary and secondary proceeds and each new investor will acquire an undisclosed stake in Skyscanner, the company said.
Existing investors SAP and Sequoia were active participants in the round. Along with them, new backers also took part. The five new backers are Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the Malaysian government’s strategic investment fund and Yahoo! Japan, which was already one of Skyscanner’s venture partners, Fund manager Artemis, independent investment manager Baillie Gifford and private equity firm Vitruvian Partners.
Gareth Williams, Skyscanner CEO and co-founder, said in a statement,
Skyscanner has enjoyed high double-digit growth rates for some years now, and has been profitable since 2009. This success is thanks to our 1,200 direct partner relationships, the trust of the 50 million travellers who use us every month, our technology and the dedication of our teams to deliver the best experience for travellers possible. This financing round and our recent new hires allow us to build fantastic further tools for travellers. I’d like to thank SEP and Sequoia for their belief in us and also welcome our new investors to the team. We have so much more to do together – it’s an exciting time.
Skyscanner was founded in 2003 and has since been growing slowly, yet steadily. The company has been more dependent on revenues, thought to be around £100 million per year, instead of raising huge amounts at a time.
The search giant currently employees more than 700 people and has offices all over the world. It’s services are available in more than 30 languages globally. Moreover , it is currently providing services to more than 50 million people monthly. The capital raised today makes Skyscanner the 18th company from the UK to hit the billion-dollar mark, profoundly called a unicorn.
The company faces stiff competition from the likes of Kayak, Expedia and more heavily backed Chinese companies like Qunar and Ctrip. Even Google’s latest Flights service could easily be called a probable threat to Skyscanner.