Corporate Communications

VTB Capital venture business leads $10 Million round in Russian travel site; PhoCusWright Chairman joins board

20 March 2012, the leading Russian online hotel booking and travel company, today announced that the company has raised a $10 million round of financing from VTB Capital venture business and existing investors Mangrove Capital Partners, Ventech Capital and ABRT. The new investment will bring the total equity capital raised by to $15 million. is also pleased to announce that Philip Wolf, Founder and Chairman of PhoCusWright, a global travel market research company, joined the company’s Board as an independent director.

Philip Wolf said: “Russia is the last untapped frontier of major international online travel markets. With Russia being the largest online population among European economies and a country of avid travellers, the Russian online travel market is primed for exploding. With a top notch team, sound strategy and great results, is on track to becoming a leading player of a global calibre.” is the market leader in the booming Russian online travel market, with over 2,500 hotels in Russia and the CIS in its database. This gives the largest and most relevant hotel offering for both Russian and foreign travellers in the country.

The $10 million investment will help to secure its position as the leading brand in the Russian online travel. The new funds will help to provide most of the 10,000 hotels in Russia with a unique online presence.

Aidar Kaliev, Global Head of Venture Business at VTB Capital, said: “The investment in allows us to capitalize on the rapid growth of the Russian domestic travel market. With Russia being a home to such major international events as 2014 Winter Olympics and 2018 Soccer World Cup, the country has seen major investments into domestic travel infrastructure. effectively tackles the challenge of creating the online infrastructure to support the offline market developments”.

Marina Kolesnik, Founder and CEO of said: “The investment in from one of Russia’s largest venture capital investors gives us the necessary resources to achieve the challenging mission of getting both Russian hotels and travelers online. Even given recent triple digit annual growth, the Russian market is still predominantly offline. This new capital will allow us to bring a new standard of travel to the Russian mass market traveller and new way of managing business to the traditional Russian hotelier”.

Javier Perez-Tenessa, co-founder and CEO of ODIGEO and eDreams said:”The Russian online travel market has great growth potential. The companies that operate in this market are not mere service providers, they are creating market infrastructure and building both demand and supply. This new investment in is a major milestone in developing the Russian online travel market. is confidently winning market share becoming a market leader.”

David Waroquier, Partner at Mangrove Capital Partners, said: “The Russian online travel market has been growing with triple digit rates since 2009. In 2012 we expect the online hotel bookings market to more than double and reach $3 billion by 2015. plays an important infrastructural role in the Russian market, bringing together online hotel properties and customers that have been traditionally offline. By backing, we are investing in the significant potential and rapid growth of the Russian travel market”.

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