US – British Travel Company, Secret Escapes has raised $60 Million in a funding round. The new investors, Google Ventures (NASDAQ: GOOGL) leads in their investment along with the existing investors; Octopus Investments and Index Ventures. With this cash injection, the firm wants to replicate its success in existing and new markets. Also by the end of the decade, it aims to become a ‘global multi-billion turnover business’.
Secret Escapes, a British start-up, launched in 2010 is a ‘members-only’ website that offers flash sale deals exclusively for its members. It operates in 13 countries with over 19 million members worldwide. It has sold over 2 million room nights.
The funding will be used by Secret Escapes in making existing markets more profitable and also in expanding its market in the US and Asia. Secret Escapes aims to double its revenue figures of 2014 by continuing its aggressive expansion drive in new countries. There’s a more likely scenario that Secret Escapes would look to acquire more rivals, as in the past also, it has acquired several rivalry companies.
There are other major rivals also for Secret Escapes including Groupon and Time Out which also offers various travel and holiday deals. The consumers on these websites have to first purchase holiday voucher before booking for airlines and hotels as well. However, on the other hand Secret Escapes allows its members to directly book via their website for airlines and hotels. Also, they provide flash sale every week which last around 10 days. At times, there may be as many as 140 sales going on at one moment providing huge options to consumers. Thereby giving a superior edge to the members and in turn increasing the revenue of the company.
Google Ventures has total assets of over $1.5 billion. They opened their London office in July, 2014, which is a capital investment arm of its Parent company, Google Inc. It aims at providing funding to the potential start-ups in the European market. For this purpose, it had launched a $100 million fund to invest in potential European start-ups. Earlier, it had invested in Kobalt, Lost My Name, Yieldify and Oxford Science Innovation Fund from its London Office.