Yanolja, the largest online travel platform in South Korea, has raised $180 million in Series D funding from GIC and Booking Holdings, bringing its current valuation to more than $1 billion.
GIC is a sovereign wealth fund established by the Government of Singapore, while Booking Holdings is the world leader in online travel and related services.
Alongside its investment, Booking Holdings have entered into a strategic partnership and commercial agreement with Yanolja. The partnership allows Booking Holdings' brand Agoda to offer its customers Yanolja’s unique hotel accommodations in South Korea. It also allows Yanolja customers to book accommodations across the globe through Agoda and other Booking Holdings’ brands.
Yanolja is a leader in Korea’s accommodation and leisure industry, based on an acute understanding and use of cutting-edge digital technologies, and global expansion plans. In particular, the company’s sales have grown at an annual rate of more than 70 percent over the past five years.
Yanolja has grown into the largest online travel platform in Korea. It is the first company in the industry to top $100 million in monthly transactions. Yanolja has continued to show the value of its online booking platform by reaching 20 million accumulated reservations for accommodation and leisure activity booking.
In addition, Yanolja is one of the largest hotel chains in Korea with more than 200 hotels which include some of the strongest and most recognized franchise hotel brands across the country. Outside of Korea, Yanolja has invested in Southeast Asia's No. 1 hotel chain, ZEN Rooms, which has more than 1,000 hotels across the region, strategically positioning itself for its global hotel franchise business.
Furthermore, Yanolja has developed a cloud-based property management system in Korea, supporting all types of accommodation, helping the owners save operational costs, increase bookings, and ultimately boost revenue. Based on its technological know-how and operational experience, Yanolja is architecting a smart hotel that utilizes key technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT). Earlier this year, Yanolja joined hands with KT Corp. to introduce a “smart hotel” in Jeju Island, which is intended to enhance a hotel’s overall performance by improving cost efficiency and customer satisfaction.
The new funds will be used to further innovate and achieve new milestones in hospitality-related technology to automate hotel operations and achieve more pervasive connectivity across the value chain. A portion of the newly raised funds will also be used to accelerate digitalization and expand growth potential in the global travel and leisure market, going beyond the traditional travel sphere.