Yanolja is an online travel company that both provides hotel operation technology and also is a hotel operator in its own right. It recently received a large investment from Softbank.
SoftBank Group intends to buy a 10% stake in the Korea-based travel company. The world’s largest venture fund is planning to announce an investment of around $800 million in the startup.
As a result, Yanolja will be able to attract more capital if it needs to, and should be able to expand faster in the coming years. Recently, Yanolja was preparing to list shares and hired Mirae Asset Daewoo and Samsung Securities as underwriters.
The company launched in 2005 as a listing service for budget hotels but has evolved into an online travel agency. It offers different categories such as sightseeing tickets, railway tickets, spa tickets and restaurant reservations.
In 2019, the company was valued at $1 billion. That was based on $180 million in funding from Booking Holdings and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC. These investments gave the investors about 35% to 40% in ownership of Yanolja.
With the investment from Softbank, the travel startup will be able to increase its global reach and will likely go public in the US in the future.
However, while the startup is profitable and generated $10.6 billion in transactions around the world in 2020 and could grow further, the pandemic has restricted the growth of Yanolja.
In May, the Softbank Vision Fund announced its intention to buy $2 billion in shares of Yanolja by buying shares from Booking Holdings and GIC. There is no word on if this was successful, of if Booking Holdings and GIC sold to Softbank.
Yanolja provides cloud-based hotel management solutions to over 30,000 clients globally. Because the pandemic is getting more and more serious, the tourism industry is stagnant.
This has caused many hotel companies to use outdated processes or old technology. Yanolja will be able to do more mergers and acquisitions than before, and already acquired a travel data service company called Triple in December.