Yanolja Co., an industry-leading travel and hospitality platform and the only ‘unicorn’ among travel agencies in South Korea, received 2 trillion won ($1.7 billion) through an investment round from the SoftBank Vision Fund 2 (SVF 2).
Besides being one of the world’s most technology-centric investment funds, SVF 2 gives Yanolja extra capital, boosting the latter’s valuation to 10 trillion won ($9 billion). At present, Yanolja’s investment marks SVF 2’s second-biggest funding in a South Korean startup after injecting $3 billion in Coupang Corp.
According to Yanolja, SVF 2 would become its second-largest shareholder with a 25% share. Under the 2-trillion won investment, SVF 2 would allocate around 1 trillion won to obtain existing Yanolja shares. SVF 2 would also put an additional 1 trillion won to subscribe to new share issues.
Digitalizing the Travel Sector
Thanks to its innovations and cloud-based platform, Yanolja considerably advanced the digital transition of the global travel and leisure industry. The travel platform also utilized AI, blockchain, big data, and IoT technologies to improve the ever-growing travel sector.
In its home market, Yanolja led the travel industry’s digitalization through its “Travel Super App” strategy. The Yanolja app provides users various leisure services, including accommodation, restaurant, and transportation booking.
Meanwhile, in the global scene, Yanolja has been fostering its business growth and expanding its cloud-based hospitality solutions. As a result, the company became one of the world’s fastest-growing travel-focused unicorns.
Furthermore, travel businesses across the globe faced considerable decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Yanolja experienced net growth and operating profit gains despite difficulties, establishing a sustainable development foundation.
Establishing an AI-Powered GTP
Yanolja currently ranks as South Korea’s leading travel app and the world’s no. 1 travel cloud solutions provider. Following the SVF 2 funding, Yanolja would continue spearheading the $3-trillion travel and hospitality sector.
Moreover, SoftBank commended Yanolja’s industry leadership, actively supporting its market expansion and travel innovation drive. Yanolja would also use the earnings to finance its innovative technology developments and expand its solution offerings across new markets.
In particular, the company aims to establish a highly advanced global travel platform (GTP). To this end, Yanolja would update and strengthen its automated technologies by applying AI and personalized big data-based offerings.
“I am delighted that Yanolja, together with SoftBank Vision Fund 2, can collectively pursue and realize our goal of making the global travel and hospitality markets hyperconnected through technology,” said Lee Su-Jin, Yanolja’s CEO.
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