Expedia's minority investment in Traveloka, a household name among travel players in Indonesia, makes sense. The company has struggled to gain share in Southeast Asia and a partnership can fill the gap.
The companies will “cooperate on hotel supply” and share expertise.
The five-year-old Traveloka has raised about $500 million within the last year.
The company is in Southeast Asian markets but is most heavily advertising in Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, in particular. The privately held firm does not disclose revenues.
It has partnerships with airlines and hotel groups across Asia, taking between 10 and 15 percent commissions on the reservation revenue.
Expedia has invested in the region before, as GeekWire notes. In 2011 it invested in a joint-venture with Malaysian budget airline AirAsia, and in 2015 Expedia boosted that AirAsia stake to three-quarters’ ownership.
Traveloka chief executive Ferry Unardi has credited his company’s success to being co-founded by people with engineering, instead of marketing and banking backgrounds.
Unardi, a Harvard Business School dropout who is only 29 years old, should expect to get a lot more marketing, as well as engineering, clout, with Expedia’s investment.
Here’s a video of Unardi from 2014 talking about his startup journey.
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Photo Credit: If true, the $400 million investment would be an achievement for Traveloka CEO Ferry Unardi, who is under 30 years old. Traveloka