Monday, June 5, 2006
Growth in Global Online Travel, Integrated Destination Activity Position Viator for Success
San Francisco (JUNE 5, 2006) -- Viator (www.viator.com), the world's largest online resource for tours and activities, today announced it has raised an additional $4 million through its current investors, Carlyle Venture Partners, the U.S. venture and growth capital arm of Washington D.C.-based The Carlyle Group, and Sydney-based Technology Venture Partners. This financing follows the $6 million raised from the same investors in November 2005.
Allan Thygesen, managing director of Carlyle Venture Partners and a member of the Viator board commented, "The online travel sector is poised for continued growth, specifically in two key areas that bode well for Viator -- global markets yet to capitalize on the retail power of the internet for purchasing travel, and the advance-purchase activities arena. With more than 3,500 affiliates around the world and the ability to complete transactions in multiple currencies, Viator is seizing a largely untapped market opportunity as the preferred global resource for consumers to research and book trip activities before they travel."
Over the past decade, Viator has expanded its penetration of the global travel market by building and maintaining strong relationships with both activities operators and multi-national distributors, such as Priceline, Opodo, Air France, and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.
In addition to providing content to third-party sites, Viator also sells directly to consumers via its own website, where advance bookings have nearly doubled year-over-year through the first quarter of 2006. More than 30 percent of Viator's bookings originate outside of the United States, and the company expects the trend towards more international bookings to continue over time. In Europe, which is the second largest market for Viator outside the United States, the company has seen the number of advance-purchase activities booked more than double in the last year.
"The continued investment in Viator is testament to the global scope of the opportunity, and our first-mover position in this important online market for 'the things you do when you get there,'" said Rod Cuthbert, founder and CEO of Viator. "This new funding allows us to focus on increasing our product portfolio in key destinations, improving our technology infrastructure, direct-to-consumer marketing, and continued development of new alliances and distribution partnerships.
"The recent acquisition of Las Vegas-based LookTours is a prime example of how we will continue to build our portfolio and improve services that directly contribute to Viator's bottom line and growth, while also supporting the interests of our partners."
Viator's acquisition of LookTours, which was announced May 23, enhanced the company's product range in Las Vegas and 30 other key markets, while also providing access to call center infrastructure and experience at LookTours that will complement Viator's existing online-only services.
Viator is the world's leading online resource for travel experiences – the things you do when you get there, providing access to more than 4,500 sightseeing tours, attractions and activities in 450-plus destinations in over 75 countries. Named for the Latin word for traveler, Viator is a one-stop shop to plan, research and book trip activities that meet a variety of tastes and preferences, including sightseeing tours, theater tickets, soft adventure trips, attraction passes, wine and culinary excursions, and many "off the beaten path" outings. Viator's in-house travel experts help take the guess work out of planning by hand-picking respected and trusted local operators to ensure a quality experience, value and service. Viator, founded in 1995, sells directly to consumers at www.viator.com and through its growing global network of more than 3,500 affiliates that include major hotel and airline companies, online travel agencies, city-specific sites and more. Viator is private, venture-backed company, headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Las Vegas, London and Sydney.
About Carlyle Venture Partners
Carlyle Venture Partners is the U.S.-based venture and growth capital arm of The Carlyle Group. Carlyle Venture Partners invests in high-growth companies in the technology, telecommunications & media, and healthcare & business services sectors. The Carlyle Group is a global private equity firm with $39 billion under management. Carlyle has more than 650 employees in 25 offices in 14 countries in North America, Europe and Asia. Carlyle Venture Partners has offices in San Francisco, CA, New York, NY and Washington, DC. www.carlyle.com.
About Technology Venture Partners
Technology Venture Partners (TVP) is Australia's leading venture capital firm and invests in information technology, communications and New Media related businesses. With $190 million under management TVP has invested in more than 20 Australian technology companies. Formed in 1997, TVP provides venture capital for Australian technology companies, at any stage of company development from start-up through to expansion. TVP has a team of four investment professionals based in Sydney, with a blend of relevant industry, entrepreneurial, management and technical expertise. For more information, please visit http://www.tvp.com.au.
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