Yanolja said this week it expected that a post-pandemic rebound in international travel will continue to boost its twin businesses of online travel sales via a superapp and software sales to hotels and other travel companies. The South Korea-based startup has made progress on both ambitions since 2011, when it received a $1.7 billion investment from the Softbank Vision Fund in a transaction that valued Yanolja at the time at approximately US$9 billion.
The privately held travel company in South Korea reported this week some of its financial results for the third quarter, saying it had experienced “high growth rates in all business areas.”
Yanolja recorded consolidated sales of approximately $147 million (192.2 billion Korean won) in the quarter, a 112 percent jump from the same period a year.
Unlike many travel startups, the company is profitable. Yanolja reported an adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, of about $8.1 million (10.6 billion Korean won).
Roughly half of the company’s growth has been partly driven by its software business, which had a 32 percent year-over-year increase to $71 million in sales in the quarter. For more context on the travel software sales, see Skift’s story Decoding Yanolja Cloud and Its Hotel Software Strategy.
The mid-sized company said it has been staffing up for roles in product management, software engineering, and user experience design, and has cash on hand to make acquisitions.
Jongyoon Kim, CEO of Yanolja, will discuss the company’s overall strategy and business performance at Skift Global Forum East in Dubai on December 14. Kim joined Yanolja in 2015 as chief strategy officer and in 2021, was elevated to CEO. He has previously worked at McKinsey & Company, Google, and 3M. Many industry analysts wonder if Kim will be able to guide the ambitious tartup to a successful initial public offering someday, and if so, when.