Skift Take

Having weathered the Covid storm, Traveloka is back to doing what it believes it does best — selling travel.

Indonesian travel unicorn Traveloka will no longer operate its online food delivery platform Traveloka Eats and on-demand delivery service Traveloka Send as it prepares for the post-Covid rebound of its travel business.

Confirming this in response to a Skift query, a Traveloka spokesperson said on Tuesday that “we are discontinuing Traveloka Eats and Send as part of our business strategy and prioritization. With the return of travel, we are excited about the future.”

As Southeast Asia charts its way towards tourism recovery with the easing of travel restrictions, Indonesia resumed the visa-on-arrival scheme from September 15 for travelers from 86 countries.  

The Indonesian central statistics agency Badan Pusat Statistik noted that around 1.7 million foreign travelers visited Indonesia between January and August, an increase of 2,028 percent compared to the same period in 2021.

Traveloka has said the transition process would be carried out as per the applicable regulations and the company would coordinate with employees, service partners and consumers during the process.

The online travel company, that has successfully developed into a lifestyle superapp, has also closed down its online grocery service Traveloka Mart, six months after its launch in March.

All three units — Traveloka, Eats, Send and Mart — were part of the travel company’s diversification efforts post Covid-19. Traveloka Send — the on-demand logistic service — had been launched just two weeks ago.

Starting off as a platform for restaurant reviews and listings in 2018, Traveloka Eats moved to a full-fledged food delivery service during the pandemic.

The announcement to shut down Traveloka Eats and Send comes days after Traveloka received a fresh infusion of funds to the tune of $300 million from sovereign wealth fund Indonesia Investment Authority, BlackRock, Allianz Global Investors and other global financial institutions.

The investors touted Traveloka as a strong leader in the online travel space in Southeast Asia and had said the financing would support digital ecosystem growth in the travel sector allowing the company to grow further; while cementing its status as one of the region’s technology leaders.

Commenting on the funding, Traveloka CEO and Co-Founder, Ferry Unardi, had said the financing would allow the online travel company to strengthen its balance sheet while continuing to focus on its core business while also building for the future.

Through a series of acquisitions, Traveloka in recent years has successfully built itself from a pure tech operation into a wider services company, including financial tech. Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, Expedia Group and Chinese online retailer are some of the early investors in Traveloka.

The company, that had been launched in 2012, had planned to go public through a special acquisition company last year, but that failed to take off.

In July, Thailand-based public firm PTT Oil and Retail Business had also announced that it would be investing in Traveloka, without disclosing the value of investment.

Speaking at the Skift Global Forum in New York last month, Shirley Lesmana, chief marketing officer of Traveloka, said that the pivot from a travel price comparison search engine to a travel and lifestyle app, had helped the company towards acquisition and retention of customers, resulting in 100 million downloads of the lifestyle superapp.

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Tags: asia monthly, coronavirus recovery, indonesia, investors, southeast asia, spacs, superapps, Traveloka, visas

Photo credit: Traveloka will no longer operate its online food delivery platform Traveloka Eats and on-demand delivery service Traveloka Send. Traveloka

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