East-West Digital News
Goldman Sachs invested $8 million in Onetwotrip.com, a Moscow-based startup that sells air tickets and hotel bookings to users from Russia and several European countries.
The capital injection was not publicly announced when took place in late 2014, but it was revealed last week by Russian business daily Kommersant, which cited sources close to the deal.
Onetwotrip’s valuation remains unknown, but an investor with knowledge of the company told Kommersant that it could amount to “several hundreds of million dollars.” The company, which according to its founder Peter Kutis turned profitable just one year after launch in 2011, is still growing in spite of the economic crisis, said this investor.
Last year, according to Onetwotrip’s competitor Ozon Travel, the Russian flight ticket booking market reached 230 billion rubles (nearly $6 billion at the average 2014 exchange rate). An estimated 20% to 30% of this amount was generated online, with an extremely slow growth rate from the previous year.
In August 2014 Onetwotrip sold around 10,000 tickets every day, according to Kutis.
In 2012, Onetwotrip initially raised $9 million from Phenomen Ventures, a fund with Russian roots, and $16 million from Atomico. The UK fund hailed the site as “the most efficient, elegant and innovative travel service not only in Russia, but anywhere in the world.”
Indeed Onetwotrip provides travellers with a number of smart features. These include an intelligent search system of prices, flight options and routes; statistics of the flight delays for every particular destination/airline; information on airplane model and age as well as on distances between the seats.
The Russian startup started international expansion in 2013, after acquiring US hotel booking startup DealAngel. That same year, Kutis announced IPO plans “for 2014,” but market slowdown and deteriorated international climate obviously prevented him to reach this goal.
Kutis declined to answer EWDN’s questions.
This story first appeared in East-West Digital News, a leading online resource on Russian digital industries.