Travel tech player Klook has raised US$200 million ($262.1 million) in additional funding, as it plots an aggressive local expansion.
The Series E funding round was led by Aspex Management, an investment fund focused on the Asia-Pacific region, in addition to other new investors.
The $262.1 million investment will support Klook’s continued digitisation in the tours and activities sector, as it looks to take on the likes of ExperienceOz and Big Red Group (owner of Red Balloon and Adrenaline) Down Under.
Ethan Lin, co-founder and CEO of Klook, said: “Despite a challenging 2020, we have shown our mettle, turning challenges into growth opportunities with agility and constant innovation.
“We’ve observed over the past year that consumers have a pent-up desire to explore and enjoy themselves, despite international travel being paused. Instead, they are turning inwards – exploring new and unique experiences right in their backyard.
“This new capital further strengthens our leading position to take us from defence to offence, as domestic tourism becomes ubiquitous and international travel gradually returns.”
Klook onboarded more than 485 tourism operators in Australia to its online platform and app, and it expects to double this figure in 2021.
To support Australia’s domestic tourism recovery, Klook has been actively working with Destination NSW on its ‘Love NSW’ campaign to encourage interstate travel (when borders are open) and intrastate, regional travel.
The company has also expanded its local team, with former Southeast Asia director Henry Hooper appointed to oversee Klook’s operations in Australia and New Zealand as general manager.
Hooper led the expansion of the business’ pivot to staycations in Singapore and Malaysia, as well as the roll-out of a contact tracing system for local attractions in the Philippines.