Yanolja, a global leisure platform company, has attracted the series D investment worth 180 million U.S. dollars from Singapore's investment agency (GIC) and Booking Holdings, becoming a "unicorn company" with more than 1 billion U.S. dollars in corporate value.
Along with the investment, Yanolja and Booking Holdings also pledged cooperation through a strategic partnership. Yanolja plans to actively strengthen sales of various domestic and foreign accommodation facilities, including hotels, motels and pensions affiliated with Yanolja, through a system linkage with its main affiliates of Booking Holdings, including Agoda.
Yanolja customers are also expected to be able to easily book accommodations worldwide owned by Agoda and other major brands of Booking Holdings on the Yanolja platform.
Yanolja is said to have received high praise for its status as a leader in the accommodation and leisure market in Korea, its high understanding of high-tech digital technologies, and its global business expansion.
In fact, Yanolja quickly cemented its position as a market leader, becoming the industry's first online travel platform to break the $100 million monthly deal. It also continues to show the growth potential of online reservation platforms, surpassing the 20 million cumulative reservations. As a result, Yanolja has recorded a steep annual sales growth of more than 70 percent over the past five years.
Yanolja's strength is that it has not only a strong online platform, but also offline business know-how that runs the nation's most franchise hotels. It already operates more than 200 hotel chains in South Korea alone under seven brands, and has been making brisk moves abroad in the global hotel franchise business, investing in ZEN Rooms, the No. 1 hotel chain in Southeast Asia, which has more than 1,000 hotels, a Yanolja spokesperson said.