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UPDATED: Surprisingly it was The Next Web and not Quintura that was first to report the news that the hotel booking service from Russia Oktogo has raised $11 million in new round of funding from the existing investors in the company Ventech Capital, Mangrove Capital Partners and VTB Capital, as well as the online marketing expert Victor Sazhin.
According to The Next Web, over 1 million visitors use Oktogo website every month. In Russia the company goes against Ostrovok, which until now led in terms of funding raised. In terms of Alexa ranking, the positions of both websites is about the same. There is also Runa Capital and Almaz Capital backed Travelmenu (complete travel packages), and Travelata funded by Czech Invia, not to mention Booking.com and other similar services.
There is not much to say really about the intricacies of online hotel booking services and in Germany HRS.de has been doing this job for years. But in Russia it is less typical for individual hotels to have their own websites, so the last round of funding raised by Marina Kolesnik, the founder and CEO of Oktogo, was spent creating online presence for 10,000 Russian hotels. Currently the company offers 5000 hotels in Russia and 250,000 hotels worldwide.
The new funding will be spent on brand awareness and expansion into the regions, as the startup’s main challenge is to turn customers from offline travel agencies to online booking. This may be a challenge as in Russia established travel agencies often offer the visa service to go along with booking a trip, which is a major added value to Russian travelers requiring visas to go practically anywhere in the world.
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