SoftBank-backed Klook raises $210 million in travel rebound

(Reuters) – Klook Travel Technologies, backed by SoftBank Group Corp, said in a statement on Thursday it raised $210 million in a funding round as the booking service provider seeks to expand its footprint following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The equity round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners, said Klook, which achieved profitability for the first time this year and also turned cash-flow positive.

Private-equity firm BPEA EQT and SMIC SG Holdings participated in the equity-raising round, the Hong Kong-based startup added.

“With Asia in the early stages of post-COVID recovery, upcoming global events like the Paris Olympics 2024 and Osaka World Expo 2025, along with rising expenditures and digital adoption, the industry outlook in Asia is exceptionally positive,” said Klook CEO and co-founder Ethan Lin.

The firm will use the funds to focus on three core growth areas – product innovation, boosting social and digital marketing coupled with AI integration.

Klook, which was founded in 2014, provides various booking services to travellers across a range of locations globally and competes with other experience booking services providers such as TripAdvisor and Airbnb.

(Reporting by Rishav Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)