Raising Finance

London luxury travel firm Secret Escapes packs Google-led $60m Series C investment

3 min read

27 July 2015

Former deputy editor

Google Ventures and Octopus Investments have led a $60m Series C investment for Secret Escapes, the online flash sales luxury travel company, which will allow it to increase its global scale across the US and Asia.

Secret Escapes works on a membership basis, thus users have to sign up to secure access to deals – some of which offer up to 70 per cent off of holidays and accommodation.

The London-based firm also secured capital from existing investors including Index Ventures and Atlas Venture as part of the round. Since launching in 2011, the company has sold more than two million room nights and achieved a user base of 19 million people worldwide – up from four million in January 2014.

In addition to running on the web, the digital-only service also has a multilingual mobile app, which has helped it introduce operations in 13 territories. More recently, launches have taken place in the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Italy – something CEO Alex Saint considers an “exciting point in our brand’s development.”

“The cash injection of $60m will enable Secret Escapes to continue making great strides to replicate the success of our UK business, ultimately helping to bring us closer to our ambition of becoming the number one destination for consumers looking to book their holidays. We forecast to be a global multi-billion turnover business by the end of the decade,” said Saint.

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He added: “The continued support and investment from Octopus since the earliest stages of our company formation has helped us to build a rapidly growing global company based in London. This new round of investment will allow us to accelerate our brand and expansion into the USA and Asia.”

Elsewhere, Secret Escapes has experienced a 260 per cent revenue increase year-on-year, following expansion across Norway, Switzerland, Denmark and America in 2014. In keeping with that, Brits are spending more on hospitality than they used to, with a 7.1 per cent rise in the amount spent on hotels, bars and restaurants.

Tom Hulme from Google Ventures claimed Secret Escapes’ partnership base was what provided it a “significant advantage” when bringing travellers and top hotels together.

Meanwhile, Alliott Cole of Octopus Investments, said: “It was Secret Escapes’ strong commercial opportunity, the size of the potential global market, and the strengths of the founding team which initially attracted us to support the brand during the early stages of the business’ development.”