Luxury travel affiliate Secret Escapes has raised £38 million in Series-C finance to aid its international expansion.
A number of well-known groups are named as contributors to the group’s latest funding mission, including Google Ventures along with Atlas Venture, Index Ventures and Octopus Investments.
It’s thought the publisher will be using its new cash to branch out into the US and Asia following a promising start in Europe. After launching four years ago, Secret Escapes has sold nearly two million room nights through a membership-only model which aims to make luxury holidays affordable.
Its focus on the ‘flash sale’ of rooms which face being left empty or sold off at cuts of up to 70% has been welcomed with open arms.
The company will be hoping for a similar reception outside of Europe with plenty of financial clout at its disposal.
With over 19 million subscribers on board, the UK-based publisher currently assists the sale of travel services such as accommodation, flights, experiences and tours in over 13 countries.
Its website lists the benefit of searching for ‘hand-picked hotels’ at ‘members-only rates’ in places from London to the Middle East. However, the group only offers 11 country-specific websites, one of which – the US version – is the sole representative from outside of Europe.
Numerous reports suggest that Secret Escapes is looking to bring its model closer to a stateside audience as well as out to Asia, where the luxury travel market is taking off.
In China, for example, over 100 million of the country’s holidaymakers will travel abroad in this year alone and outspend all luxury shoppers combined, according to research from ILTM Asia.
A rising worth
The company’s previous funding rounds show just how far it has come since launching. In 2012, Secret Escapes reeled in $8 million from partners including Index Ventures, Atlas Venture, and Octopus Investments.
These same companies, in addition to Google Ventures, have upped their investment hugely after seeing the website grow into one of the most talked about travel publishers in recent years.
Secret Escapes is no stranger to an investment of its own, though, after completing deals for fellow British and member-only experience-booking platform MyCityVenue and German hotel information service JustBook last year.