Oktogo.ru, the leading Russian online hotel booking and travel company, announced today that the company has raised $10 million round of financing from VTB Capital, the investment arm of Russia’s largest bank VTB and existing investors Mangrove Capital Partners, Ventech Capital and ABRT. The new investment will bring the total equity capital raised by Oktogo.ru to $15 million.
Oktogo.ru is also pleased to announce that Philip Wolf, Founder and Chairman of PhoCusWright, the leading global travel market research company, joined the company’s Board as an Independent Director. “Russia is the last untapped frontier of major international online travel markets,” says Philip Wolf. “With Russia being the largest online population among European economies and a country of avid travellers, Russian online travel market is prime for exploding. With a top notch team, sound strategy and great results, Oktogo.ru is on track to build a leading player of a global caliber.”
With over 2,500 hotels in Russia and CIS in its database, Oktogo.ru boasts the largest and most relevant hotel offering for both Russian and foreign travelers in the country. The company is the market leader in the booming Russian online travel market.
The $10 million investment will help Oktogo.ru to secure its position as the leading brand in the Russian online travel. The new funds will help Oktogo.ru to provide most of the 10,000 hotels in Russia with a unique online presence.
Javier Perez-Tenessa, co-founder and CEO of ODIGEO and eDreams & investor in Oktogo.ru, says: “Russian online travel market has great growth potential. The companies that operate in this market are not mere service providers, they are creating infrastructure of the market and building both demand and supply of the market. The new investment in Oktogo.ru is a major milestone in developing the Russian online travel market. Oktogo.ru is confidently capturing the market and is moving towards the leading position on the market.”
“The investment in Oktogo.ru from one of Russia’s largest venture capital investors, gives us the necessary resource to achieve the challenging mission of getting online both Russian hotels and Russian travellers,” says Marina Kolesnik, Founder and CEO of Oktogo.ru. “Even with triple digit annual growth, our market in Russia is still predominantly offline. The new capital will allow us to bring a new standard of travel to the Russian mass market traveller and new way of managing business to the traditional Russian hotelier.”
Aidar Kaliev, Managing Director of VTB Capital, explains: “The investment in Oktogo.ru allows us to capitalize on the rapid growth of domestic travel market in Russia. With Russia being a home to such major international events as 2014 Winter Olympics and 2018 Soccer World Cup, the country has seen major investments into domestic travel infrastructure. Oktogo.ru effectively tackles the challenge of creating the online infrastructure to support the offline market developments.”
David Waroquier, Partner at Mangrove Capital Partners, says, “The Russian online travel market has been growing with triple digit rates since 2009. In 2012 we expect the market of online hotel bookings to more than double and by 2015 this market will reach $3 billion. Oktogo.ru plays an infrastructural role on the Russian market, bringing together online hotel properties and customers that have been traditionally offline. By backing Oktogo.ru, we are investing in the significant potential and rapid growth of the Russian travel market.”
St. Petersburg, Russia-based Oktogo.ru is the leading Russian online hotel booking and travel site. The founders of Oktogo.ru were the founding team members of Russia’s leading online property, Mail.ru (http://www.corp.mail.ru/en) and helped build DataArt (www.dataart.ru), one of the premier software developers for the travel sector in Europe and the United States.
Javier Perez-Tenessa, founder and CEO of Odigeo and eDreams, Fabrice Grinda, founder of OLX, and Jose Marin, founder of IG Expansion, are investors and advisors to Oktogo.ru.
About Philip C. Wolf
In 1994, Philip Wolf founded PhoCusWright, the premier source for travel, tourism, and hospitality intelligence. In 2011, PhocusWright was acquired by Northstar Travel Media. Mr. Wolf began his career in travel industry in 1989 when he managed a small travel agency and then became CEO of TravelMation.
Former adjunct professor at NYU’s Graduate Center for Hospitality and Tourism, Mr. Wolf is currently a distinguished lecturer at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration.
Mr. Wolf serves on the boards of India’s MakeMyTrip and Canada-based travel search company, Hopper Inc.
About VTB Capital
VTB Capital is the investment arm of Russia’s largest banking group VTB. Founded in 2008, VTB Capital took part in more than 170 transactions in the debt and equity capital markets, which allowed attracting over $90.7 billion in investments to the Russian economy.
In 2011, VTB Capital was ranked the first by Dealogic, Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters in the debt and equity capital markets in Russia and CIS.
About Mangrove Capital Partners
Mangrove Capital Partners looks to invest in passionate entrepreneurs who want to build world-changing companies. Mangrove invests early, often before the product launch, and want to be the partner of choice for innovators seeking financial partners.
Mangrove Capital Partners, which has more than $500 million under management, has invested in more than 50 companies such as Skype, Seatwave, Brands4friends, Rdio, Nimbuzz, Wix, KupiVip, Spreets, Dialcom, Bettymovil, and Drimmi. Mangrove has had the privilege of being the first investor in Skype, which was sold to eBay for € 3.1 billion in 2005. In 2010, Brands4Friends was sold to eBay and Spreets to Yahoo!. For more information, visit www.mangrove-vc.com
About Ventech Capital
Ventech is a venture capital firm based in Paris. For more than a decade, Ventech has been investing in start-ups and early growth companies. These investments have focused on the Information Technology sector (more particularly, cloud computing, Internet, media and mobile) and Life Sciences, mainly in Europe. With €365 million under management, Ventech is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs’ projects which have the potential to become global leaders in their market.
In 2006, Ventech started operations in China to help the European companies in its portfolio develop their business in Asia and to invest in the region via a dedicated fund, based out of Beijing. For more information, visit www.ventechvc.com