Wednesday, October 1, 2008
San Francisco, CA (October 1, 2008) - Viator, Inc. today announced Robert E. Grady, Partner and Managing Director of The Carlyle Group, one of the world's largest private equity firms, and chairman of the company's U.S. venture and growth capital group, Carlyle Venture Partners (CVP), has assumed the Carlyle seat on Viator's board of directors.
Mr. Grady (50) chairs San Francisco-based Carlyle Venture Partners, which is the largest investor in Viator, Inc. and he oversees the firm's $1.5 billion investment portfolio. Viator, Inc operates Viator.com, the world's leading online resource for travel experiences, providing access to more than 5,500 tours, attractions and activities in 450-plus destinations in 75 countries. Carlyle previously invested in such online travel leaders as C-Trip, Inc. (Nasdaq: "CTRP") and Egencia (acquired by Expedia, Nasdaq: "EXP").
"For more than two years we have worked closely with Bob and the team at Carlyle on multiple rounds of venture financing, raising more than $10 million for continued investment in our Viator.com brand, including our planned expansion into Europe," noted Barrie Seidenberg, CEO and president of Viator. "His investment banking and venture financing background, particularly his focus on the technology industry, complement the expertise of our board and will help us plot our market strategy moving forward."
"Viator is the industry leader in online destination activities, a very large category which is poised for significant growth, and I'm looking forward to having a more hands-on role in Viator's future," said Mr. Grady. "It's been exciting to watch the organic growth of Viator.com, which more than doubled in gross revenue last year, and is on a similar growth trajectory this year. We've been extremely impressed with Viator.com's appeal around the world -- more than half of its revenue comes from non-U.S. markets ï¿½?? and we expect this diversification will only strengthen as Viator launches new sites in Europe in the months ahead."
Mr. Grady serves on the investment committees of CVP, Carlyle Asia Growth Partners (CAGP) and Carlyle Europe Technology Partners (CETP). He is a director of AuthenTec, Inc. (Nasdaq: AUTH), and Maxim Integrated Products (Nasdaq: "MXIM") and a former Director of Blackboard (Nasdaq: BBBB) and Ingenio (acquired by AT&T (NYSE: T)). He also serves on the board of directors of privately-held Carlyle portfolio companies, eScreen, The Health Central Network, Panasas, Secure Elements, Verari Systems, and Wall Street Institute.
Prior to joining Carlyle, Mr. Grady was a managing director and member of the Management Committee at Robertson Stephens, the San Francisco-based technology investment bank. From 1994 to 2004, Mr. Grady served on the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he taught a course on "Investing in Highly Regulated Industries." Mr. Grady served in the White House from 1989 to 1993, as deputy assistant to President George H.W. Bush and as Executive Associate Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Mr. Grady is on the boards of directors of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the Pardee RAND Graduate School, TechNet, and the Asia America Multi-Industry Association (AAMA); on the Advisory Council of the Royal Bank of Canada's Strategic Technology Fund; and on the National Commission on Energy Policy. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. An honors graduate of Harvard College, Mr. Grady also received an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Viator is the world's leading online resource for travel experiences, providing access to more than 5,500 tours, attractions and activities in 400-plus destinations in 75 countries. Viator - the Latin world for traveler - offers travelers a one-stop shop to plan, research and book trip activities with helpful resources like customer reviews, star ratings, suggested itineraries and the Viator Travel Blog. Viator's in-house travel experts have picked respected and trusted local operators to ensure a quality experience, value and service, all backed by Viator's low-price guarantee. Founded in 1995, Viator sells its products directly to consumers at www.viator.com and through its global network of more than 1,000 affiliates that include major hotel and airline companies, online travel agencies, city-specific sites and more. Through its collection of company operated and affiliated sites, Viator welcomes nearly 2 million visitors per month. Viator is headquartered in San Francisco with regional offices in Sydney, London and Las Vegas.
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