The journey tech trade has acquired one other unicorn. Following the likes of Airbnb, OYO, Traveloka and Klook, Korea’s Yanolja mentioned right now it has closed a $180 million Sequence D spherical that takes it valuation past $1 billion.

The funding is led by GIC, a Singapore sovereign wealth fund, and Reserving Holdings, the U.S. agency behind journey providers resembling, and extra. The corporate had beforehand raised round $60 million, based on Crunchbase information. In 2017, Bloomberg reported that its valuation was over $500 million.

Yanolja is greatest identified for reinventing the idea of affection resorts in Korea — turning them from seedy locations into enticing short-term rental choices for younger individuals and vacationers. Based by a former resort employee, Lee Su-jin, it began out as an promoting platform for love resorts earlier than including its personal app-based reserving service.

Right this moment it claims greater than 200 resorts in Korea and it has expanded abroad. Final 12 months, it struck a deal to speculate $15 million into Zen Rooms, a Rocket Web-backed funds resort community, in what might finally turn out to be an acquisition. Now, it’s spreading its wings by a partnership with Agoda, the resort reserving platform owned by Reserving.

Yanolja stepped into Southeast Asia final 12 months after it invested $15 million into Zenrooms

There are actually parallels between Yanolja and OYO, the India firm that has reformed unorganized small resorts by introducing minimal requirements and a community impact for companies. OYO has received the backing of SoftBank’s Imaginative and prescient Fund, elevating $1 billion final 12 months, whereas Airbnb can be an investor.

Flushed with money, the Indian firm has expanded into China, the place it claims to be the nation’s second-largest resort chain, Southeast Asia and, most lately, Europe by the $415 million acquisition of Leisure Group from Axel Springer.

Like OYO, Yanolja is relying on going abroad to develop its enterprise.

“We’re very eager to go world,” CEO Kim Jong-yoon advised Reuters in an interview following the brand new financing.

Going public can be a precedence. Bloomberg reported again in 2017 that the wheels have been in movement, however issues have taken longer. Kim advised Reuters that 2022 is the tough timeframe for an IPO, presumably, meaning the corporate will give its worldwide growth plan to likelihood to run first.

Nonetheless, its development actually reveals potential.

Yanolja mentioned that its income has grown an annual charge of over 70% over the previous 5 years. Reuters added that income final 12 months reached 188.5 billion KRW ($160 million) — that’s practically double the earlier 12 months however the firm just isn’t worthwhile but.


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