Viator is raising an additional $4 million through its current investors, Carlyle Venture Partners, and Sydney-based Technology Venture Partners. This financing follows the $6 million raised from the same investors in November 2005.
Allan Thygesen, managing director of Carlyle Venture Partners and a member of the Viator board commented, “The online travel sector is poised for continued growth, specifically in two key areas that bode well for Viator—global markets yet to capitalize on the retail power of the internet for purchasing travel, and the advance-purchase activities arena.”
He added: “With more than 3,500 affiliates around the world and the ability to complete transactions in multiple currencies, Viator is seizing a largely untapped market opportunity as the preferred global resource for consumers to research and book trip activities before they travel.”
Over the past decade, Viator has expanded its penetration of the global travel market by building and maintaining strong relationships with both activities operators and multi-national distributors, such as Priceline, Opodo, Air France, and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.
In addition to providing content to third-party sites, Viator also sells directly to consumers via its own website, where advance bookings have nearly doubled year-over-year through the first quarter of 2006. More than 30 percent of Viator’s bookings originate outside of the United States, and the company expects the trend toward more international bookings to continue over time. In Europe, which is the second largest market for Viator outside the United States, the company has seen the number of advance-purchase activities booked more than double in the last year.
“The continued investment in Viator is testament to the global scope of the opportunity, and our first-mover position in this important online market for ‘the things you do when you get there,’” said Rod Cuthbert, founder and CEO of Viator. “This new funding allows us to focus on increasing our product portfolio in key destinations, improving our technology infrastructure, direct-to-consumer marketing, and continued development of new alliances and distribution partnerships.
“The recent acquisition of Las Vegas-based LookTours is a prime example of how we will continue to build our portfolio and improve services that directly contribute to Viator’s bottom line and growth, while also supporting the interests of our partners.”
Viator’s acquisition of LookTours, which was announced May 23, enhanced the company’s product range in Las Vegas and 30 other key markets, while also providing access to call center infrastructure and experience at LookTours that will complement Viator’s existing online-only services.