Russia's top travel search engine Aviasales nabs $10M from iTech Capital
Aviasales has secured a $10 million investment from iTech Capital, TechCrunch reported. As part of the deal, iTech Capital is taking a minority stake in Russia's biggest travel search engine. Gleb Davidyuk, the Managing Partner of iTech Capital and Ilya Balandin, the firm's Investment Manager, have also joined the Board of Directors of Aviasales, the report said.
Known as JetRadar outside of Russia, Aviasales is a platform that allows consumers to look for affordable flights and accommodation online or through its apps. Proceeds from the latest funding round will be deployed towards developing the service it offers. Funds will also be used to bring more people to its team and promote its main products which include its Russia-focused search engine and its international search engine. Some of the funds will also be funneled to the company's Hotellook hospitality project as well as its Travelpayouts affiliate network, the report said.
TechCrunch reported that the rivals of Aviasales in its home turf in Russia include SkyScanner, Kayak and Momondo but Aviasales leads the market. Over 4 million unique visitors each month use its travel metasearch offering to make 500,000 search queries about tickets on a daily basis. The platform is able to compare prices of over 100 ticket agencies and over 60 carriers, the report said.
The international operations of Aviasales under the brand name JetRadar currently cover 13 markets outside Russia. The company just rolled out a Thai version of their offering. According to Aviasales, JetRadar is used by over a billion air travelers on a yearly basis, with UK, Germany and Australia as its most active markets, the report said.
Aviasales Founder Konstantin Kalinov said in a statement about the funding, "Partnering with iTech Capital will allow us to keep up the growth pace on a highly competitive market. At the moment Aviasales is growing by more than 100% a year."