Omio raises $80M as travel demand rebounds after years of COVID-19 crisis

travel booking platform

travel booking platform


It’s been a tough few years for Omio, the Berlin-based travel search and booking platform that saw 98% of its revenues evaporate overnight when COVID-19 hit Europe back in spring 2020. But the company kept on trucking and has found some light at the end of the tunnel: Today it’s reporting revenues that have rebounded to more than double pre-pandemic levels. It’s also announcing close of an $80 million Series E.

The E round includes backing from some new investors, including Lazard Asset Management and Stack Capital Group. Existing investors reupping their support for the almost decade-old business include NEA and Temasek, and funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, amongst others.

It’s Omio’s first funding since a $100 million convertible note it took in just under 2 years ago to see it through the first waves of the coronavirus crisis. In all, it’s raised around $480 million since being founded back in 2013.


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The new funding will be put toward reviving global expansion activities that have necessarily had to take a bit of a back seat during the pandemic — including through M&A and by doing more with its transportation data and inventory by scaling its partnerships (existing collaborations include tie-ups with Kayak, Huawei and LNER [London North Eastern Railway]), among others. Investment for hiring and product dev is also planned.

The travel startup is not disclosing a valuation for its business at the latest raise but that’s essentially a point of principle for Shaam, who bats away the question with a laugh. “We don’t comment on valuation ever,” he says, adding: “Let’s just say I’m building a business for the long term so I’ve never really focused on that.” (Albeit it sounds like it’s fair to say the August 2020 raise was a down valuation, and the E round is back up.)

Having a long-term mindset amid such a shock crisis for the primary industry your business is built to serve has probably been essential to getting Omio through the worst moments of the past 2 years — as well as setting it up for whatever problems might lie or lurk ahead. More pandemic-shaped tunnels remain possible, of course, given the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve.

One knock-on effect of the crisis has been to force startups in affected industries to tightly focus on managing and shrinking their costs. Omio is no exception — which is why a slightly more modestly sized raise is all it needs to stay on track now, per Shaam. (We’re also told the Series E raise should last it 2 to 3 years.)

FULL STORY


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