“We are going to focus aggressively to market our products in KSA and launch Malaysia operations,” HolidayMe’s Co-founder and CEO Geet Bhalla tells Startup Scene.
HolidayMe the Middle East’s leading Online Travel Agency, has raised $16 million in Series C funding from Gobi Partners, Algebra Ventures, Accel Partners, and Global Ventures.
Launched in December 2014, HolidayMe offers on-the-fly customised travel solutions to travelers across the Middle East, aiming to solve specific pain points in the region, such as an inefficient booking process.“We are going to focus aggressively to market our products in KSA and launch Malaysia operations,” HolidayMe’s Co-founder and CEO Geet Bhalla tells Startup Scene. “We will also be enhancing our current technology offerings for profitable and exponential growth.”
One of the pain points HolidayMe aims to address is the lack of dedicated platforms for Muslim-friendly holiday packages and hotels. “We won’t be exclusive for Muslim travelers; however we will focus on Muslim attributes and requirements more than any other player,” Bhalla says.
“Being Muslim-friendly will be an additional offering on top of our current differentiators - Technology, Pricing, Service and User experience. This will enable a Muslim traveler to choose, pick and customise their travel itineraries based on attributes like availability of halal food, prayer rooms and prayer mats in hotels, recreational activities (within the faith requirements) and location of near-by mosques and halal restaurants. On top of this, we are offering Umrah packages,” he adds.
The company provides a dynamic packaging solution which enables users to lower costs by building their own package, including flights, hotels, activities and transport services.
Over the past few years, HolidayMe has experienced phenomenal growth in the Middle East. It has grown substantially in terms of scale and operations, with a gross merchandise value growth rate of 127 percent y-o-y, and a transactions growth rate of 163 percent y-o-y.
“HolidayMe has developed a leadership position in the large and fast-growing Muslim travel online market. The team has the vision, domain experience and capabilities to become the global leader in that market,” said Tarek Assaad, Algebra Ventures’ Managing Partner. “We are delighted to join our co-investors, who are global leaders in venture investing, in supporting HolidayMe to achieve that goal."
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