Skyscanner Travel Search Site Joins The Unicorn Race

Travel search site Skyscanner has raised $192 million in its latest round of funding, joining a clique of British unicorns.

The Edinburgh-based company, which was founded in 2003, plans to use its fresh funding to expand globally and make new acquisitions, the company said.

The company’s plan to expand its presence to new markets began with its plan to grow deeper roots in the Asian market from new partnerships with Chinese search engine Baidu and Yahoo! Japan.

The new investment round was backed by U.K.-based fund manager Baillie Gifford, the Malaysian government’s investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, European investment group Vitruvian Partners and Yahoo! Japan, according to Financial Times.

While the company didn’t disclose its latest valuation, sources told FT that the company is now valued at nearly $1.6 billion, which gives it a relatively stronger position to tackle the harsh competition it faces in the travel booking space. Some of its top competitors include Expedia, Google, Kayak and Chinese website Qunar.

“We’re fundamentally a profitable company with organic growth. We’re in a $500 billion sector globally, so [we] wanted to make sure we have the funds to accelerate growth,” said Skyscanner CEO and Cofounder Gareth Williams. 

With 42 percent revenue growth and a new boost from its funding round, the company’s valuation has reportedly more than doubled since Oct. 2013, when venture capital firm Sequoia invested in it.

Skyscanner currently serves over 50 million users and has offices in Barcelona, Beijing, Budapest, Miami and the U.K., among others.


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