Funding talks in late stages, may conclude within 2mths
Ups the ante in the bus-booking startup space
EASYBOOK.COM Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based company that operates what it claims is the largest land, sea travel and tours booking website in South-East Asia, is believed to be in the final stages of closing a Series A round worth US$3 million.
According to sources familiar with the deal, Easybook has signed a term sheet with the prospective investor, and a funding agreement could be sealed within two months.
“The funds raised will be used to fuel the company’s aggressive expansion plan,” said a source which declined to be named.
When contacted by Digital News Asia (DNA), Easybook founder William Lee declined to comment on its fund-raising status.
The Series A round, if successfully closed, would up the ante in the region’s online bus-ticketing space. Kuala Lumpur-based CatchThatBus, an online bus-ticketing service provider, recently raised a US$1.5-million pre-Series A round from Jungle Ventures and 500 Startups.
Although Easybook offers more than just bus-ticketing services, the company is commonly perceived as a competitor to CatchThatBus.
Easybook was founded in 2005, and has raised a total of US$1 million from OWW Capital Partners in two tranches: In March 2014 it received US$500,000 in a seed round, and in May 2015 secured another US$500,000 via a bridging loan.
OWW Capital, formerly known as OCBC, Wearnes and Walden Management, was established by OCBC Bank, WBL Corp, and Walden International in 1991.
In 2006, the OWW management team acquired WBL’s interests and the company assumed its current name. Last year, the management team further acquired OCBC Bank’s interest.
The company says it invests in service providers in the infocomm technology, logistics, education/ training, healthcare, financial services and consumer services sectors in South-East Asia and Greater China.
It also claims to manage US$140 million. Companies it has invested in include iFast Corp, BuzzCity, Catcha and Wego. It currently does not own stakes in Catcha and Wego, however.
Easybook was founded by Lee to provide bus ticketing services from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur. Today, it has tied up with more than 150 bus companies to offer more than 10,000 departures per day on over 6,000 routes covering destinations like Kuala Lumpur, Genting Highlands, Malacca, Bangkok, Jakarta, and more.
Over the years, its range of services has also expanded. It also now offers train ticketing services to/ from and within Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, as well as high-speed train-ticketing services in Taiwan.
It also offers ferry tickets in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, as well as local tour packages in some of these countries.
Last year, the company started to offer car rental bookings in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. It has tied up with more than 120 car rental companies, it says.
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