SEP exits Skyscanner

Scottish Equity Partners has sold Edinburgh, Scotland-based Skyscanner, a travel search company. The buyer is China-based Ctrip, an online travel services provider. No financial terms were disclosed.


Glasgow, UK, 9 December 2016 ~ Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) is pleased to announce that it has today completed its exit from Skyscanner, following the formal completion of the company’s £1.4 billion sale to Ctrip, China’s leading online travel services provider.

SEP, which was Skyscanner’s largest shareholder, owned approximately one third of the Edinburgh-headquartered travel search company and made its initial investment back in 2007. At the time, Skyscanner employed less than 30 people, had revenues of approximately £1 million and focused on budget airlines in Europe. It now has over 800 employees and is one of the top online travel brands in the world, serving 60 million monthly active users and available in over 30 languages.

Calum Paterson, SEP’s Managing Partner and a non-executive director at Skyscanner prior to its sale to Ctrip said: “We are pleased to have helped Skyscanner grow from modest beginnings into the global online travel business that it is today. The company’s founders, management team and employees deserve great credit for what has been achieved. We believe Ctrip will be the perfect partner for Skyscanner and that it will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Gareth Willliams, CEO and co-founder of Skyscanner said: “Skyscanner’s position as a world leading travel search business would not have been possible without the great support we have had from SEP. They have been a consistently engaged, informed and astute partner throughout our journey.”

The sale of Skyscanner to Ctrip is one of Europe’s largest ever venture capital exits and SEP’s third “unicorn” exit in recent years, following on from Bluetooth technology company CSR and life sciences company Biovex.

Earlier this week, SEP was named Best European Venture/Growth Capital Fund at the Private Equity Exchange & Awards in Paris. The event run by Leaders League recognises the best performers amongst funds, investors and management teams across the European private equity industry.

About Scottish Equity Partners
Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) is a leading UK venture capital firm. Operating from offices in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh, SEP makes equity investments of up to £20 million in high growth technology companies based mainly in the UK and Ireland. Investments in companies in other European countries will also be considered.

SEP is an investor in some of Europe’s most exciting and innovative companies including Mister Spex, Europe’s leading online eyewear company, MATCHESFASHION.COM, a luxury omni-channel fashion retailer, data centre business Pulsant, language learning leader Babbel and online car finance provider Zuto. SEP builds value by playing an active and supportive role in the growth and development of its portfolio companies.

SEP announced in November 2016 that it had raised £260 million for a new fund. SEP V, one of the largest venture capital funds raised in Europe this year, was over-subscribed and closed above target.

SEP’s portfolio companies employ over 5,500 people and have aggregate revenues of over £1 billion.