Indonesia’s travel tech unicorn Traveloka acquires three regional rivals

Tue Dec 18, 2018 - 9:04am UTC
Traveloka

Traveloka

18/12/2018 – Traveloka, the Indonesian travel tech startup backed by Expedia and Sequoia capital, has acquired three of its smaller rivals in Southeast Asia, according to a report by Daily Social.

The travel travel startups acquired were local competitor PegiPegi, Vietnam’s MyTour and TravelBook from the Philippines. All three startups were subsidiaries listed under Japanese tech company Recruit Holdings before it was sold to Jet Tech in January 2018 for US$66.8 million.

Jet Tech was said to have sealed the deal on behalf of Traveloka, as linkages were found between the two companies. One being the dual positions held by Jet Tech director Hendrik Susanto, who also holds the position of chief strategy and investment officer at Traveloka.

Besides, Jet Tech and Traveloka also share the same office address in Singapore while PegiPegi CEO Kevin Sandjaja and head of marketing Serlina Wijaya have been identified as former employees of Traveloka.

Buying out the three online travel startups will further give the Indonesian travel tech giant a stronger foothold in the Southeast Asia region, and strengthens its position as the leading online travel platform in the region, operating its six countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam.

According to Recruit Holdings, the sale was made due to the competitive online travel agency services market in the region and to refocus its core business on developing labor SaaS products.

In 2016, TravelBook reported a loss of about US$2.5 million and net sales of US$701,000, while MyTour noted a loss of approximately US$2.1 million and net sales of US$5.5 million. Both companies reported losses for all three years between 2014 to 2016.

Pegipegi, on the other hand, reported profits of US$158,000 from net sales of approximately US$29 million in 2016. That number, however, is a 94 percent decrease compared to the net sales from the previous year.

“In consideration of the competitive environment of the market surrounding online travel agency services in the ASEAN region, the company has reached the conclusion that maintaining and developing businesses in line with new strategies will lead to maximizing the company’s value,” said Recruit Holdings.

Traveloka is reportedly in talks to raise a US$400-million round led by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC. If successful, this will double its valuation to US$4.1 billion and the startup is said to be looking to expand its business beyond airline tickets and hotel bookings to activities such as concerts and amusement parks.

This news is published on Reuters.

Vivian Foo is a reporter who writes about Southeast Asia’s technology and startup space. The entry point which led her to write about the startup ecosystem was her fascination of the dot-com boom. She is taking a deep dive into how the entrepreneurial mindset works and hopes to share the insights, innovation, and stories of the startups with her readers.