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The press release does not detail the exact amount, but I came to a conclusion that if the CrunchBase information is up to date, then in addition to previously raised $3.6 million, Russian online packaged deal travel site Travelmenu has raised $1 million from its existing investors Runa Capital and Almaz Capital driving total investment to date to $4.6 million. The round is not yet closed and discussions with several new investors continue.
Additionally there were management changes in the company. The former CEO of Travelmenu and a co-founder Nina Pogossova steps down from the CEO role and assumes a position of non-executive Chairman.
The new CEO is the co-founder, Harward MBA and ex Lastminute.com employee Katrin Buckenmaier, who has previously held a number of corporate finance positions. New team members who have recently joined Travelmenu include Russian ecommerce executive Olga Ivashina (Ozon, Wikimart) and Lyubov Grishaeva, who brings travel industry experience to the team.
According to Pavel Bogdanov of Almaz Capital, online travel business is especially attractive for investors because it does not face big challenges or Runet as logistics and online piracy. Indeed, amongst the top Russian internet companies according to Forbes, Russia’s leading online ticket seller AnywayAnyday has earned almost $200 million in revenue in the past year, and is ahead of Ozon, the Russian Amazon. According to the investor of AnywayAnyday Djois Franklin Sronipah, the company is preparing for an IPO.
Another important point is the price: in Russia consumers will pay less for the packaged tour rather than separate flights and tickets accommodation. As for hotel booking websites, Ostrovok and Oktogo, both online hotel booking services raised $13.6 million and $15 million respectively.
So far 250 000 travellers have used Travelmenu to book holidays. It is possible that some of them have come to the website after this video, which has been shared on YouTube 5.8 million times. Its Facebook page is full of excellent travel shots luring visitors to book a trip. I am tempted by those giraffes but I have done my “Africa” already.
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