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Hong Kong’s Travel Platform Klook Closes $200 Million Funding Round Amid Virus Travel Restrictions

By Ding Yi / Jan 27, 2021 06:25 PM / Business & Tech

Hong Kong-based travel and leisure booking platform Klook has raised $200 million in its series E funding round led by Aspex Management, signaling that investors remain optimistic about the future of the tourism industry which has been severely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The round was also joined by existing investors including Sequoia Capital China, SoftBank’s Vision Fund 1, Matrix Partners China and Boyu Capital, Klook said in a statement on Monday.

The new funding comes as Klook have seen increased spending on local activities in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, its key markets where coronavirus-induced travel restrictions have been gradually eased, with bookings reaching near pre-pandemic levels.

“We have observed over the past year that consumers have a pent-up desire to explore and enjoy themselves, despite international travel being paused,” said Klook CEO Ethan Lin. “Instead, they are turning inwards, exploring new and unique experiences right in their backyard.”

Klook said that it will use the capital raised from the new round to accelerate the rollout of its software-as-a-service solutions which can facilitate travel services providers in areas of ticketing management, distribution, inventory management and marketing.

Last year, six-year-old Klook shifted its focus to staycations in the hope of minimizing the negative effect of the pandemic which dampened people’s desire and ability to travel abroad. The company also piloted some new services including Klook Live, an interactive livestreaming tool used to showcase offerings of travel experience providers.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: South China Airport Becomes World’s Busiest as Pandemic Grounds Flights Almost Everywhere

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