Isango, a UK-based travel website, has raised $8 million in new VC funding. Spark Ventures led the round with $4 million, and was joined by Beringea and undisclosed existing shareholders.
isango! (www.isango.com ), a leading provider of travel experiences on the internet has received $8m in investment to fund its next stage of growth. The funding round, which is the first institutional round for the company, was led by SPARK Ventures, which is known for previous investment success with LastMinute.com, PriceRunner and other internet-based businesses. SPARK Ventures contributed $4m; Beringea, manager of the top performing ProVen VCTs, contributed $2.5m and the remaining $1.5 million came from existing shareholders.
In less than a year and a half since its launch in 2006, isango! has gained a market-leading reputation thanks to its usability, broad-ranging product categories, global coverage and inspirational presentation. It is building the largest repository of travel experiences and currently offers around 4,000 activities in nearly 60 countries. It works alongside travel companies, airlines, car rental firms, hotel groups and other portals that include Hertz, Yahoo, Teletext and WAYN.
isango's exclusive focus is on the consumer motivation behind travel, the destination experience or 'purpose' of the journey. Its aim is to provide both consumers and travel professionals with the most authoritative online resource for planning and booking unique travel experiences and activities.
The capital raised through this funding will be used to support the company through the next stage of its development and revenue ramp-up, including aggregating activity inventories, rolling-out its innovative booking platform with major distribution partners, and developing additional products and services.
Ranjan Singh, Co-Founder and CEO, isango!, commented:
“This is an important milestone in the development of the business and to have attracted two highly respected and experienced investors is a clear endorsement of the progress we have made over the last eighteen months. The market for travel experiences, tours and activities is the 'last frontier' of online travel which remains unaggregated. isango! is in pole position in this huge and exciting market. We have seen a very strong revenue growth since our launch and this latest round of funding gives us a platform from which to take the business to the next level.”
Jay Patel, Executive Director, SPARK, added:
“Travel has been one of the sectors most successfully transformed by the advent of the internet, with online ticket sales and hotel bookings now at around $650 billion annually. This combined with the growing demand from customers for holidays which incorporate experiences and activities, has created a clear market opportunity for isango! We are backing an experienced and ambitious management team who we believe has the capability and drive to build a market leading business and to benefit from the explosive growth in this market.”
Trevor Hope, Investment Director, Beringea, concluded:
“Since isango! was founded in 2006, it has made excellent progress and is already a market leader in the online travel sector. This new funding will allow management to consolidate its strong market position and we believe the company has a very bright future ahead.”
SPARK's investment was sourced as follows: $0.5 million came from its own balance sheet and $3.5 million from across several funds managed by SPARK Venture Management Limited, namely Quester VCT plc, Quester VCT 4 plc, and Quester VCT 5 plc. Beringea's $2.5 million came from its ProVen VCT and ProVen Growth&Income VCTs.
Notes to editors:
About SPARK Ventures
SPARK Ventures is the leading quoted early-stage venture capital company in Europe. It manages over