Online Travel company Travelstart has today announced a US$40 million funding from global technology investor Amadeus Capital Partners. With the investment Travelstart also enters into a strategic partnership with Africa’s largest mobile telecommunications provider MTN.
The investment is the largest of its kind on the African continent in Turkey and the Middle East. According to Travelstart which celebrated 10 years in Africa this year, the funding will be used for Travelstart’s expansion and to solidify the company’s position as the biggest OTA player on that continent.
During these 10 years, Travelstart CEO Stephan Ekbergh said the company has had its in-house team build a robust platform to serve consumers and significantly lower fares for all travellers.
“Africa alone is a US$50 billion travel market growing between 3% and 5% annually. The investment from Amadeus Capital and the MTN partnership is a fantastic fit for our company as we share the same ideology and long term commitment,” said Ekbergh.
As part of this financing, Amadeus Capital Partners’ Andrea Traversone will join Travelstart’s Board of Directors who said the market potential for Travelstart is huge with the company already a tour de force in emerging markets.
‘’ They are one of the most profitable e-commerce companies on the African continent and with this new round of funding Travelstart will be able to fast-track its already rapid growth. We’re excited to spearhead this round and to see the company’s continued growth and success,” said Traversone.
“MTN’s vision is one of delivering a Bold New Digital World and this investment in partnership with Amadeus is a key step on a multi-year journey to achieve that promise. It strongly complements our existing investments in online and e-commerce in retail, marketplaces, classifieds and travel. This investment in the largest multi-national player in a very large and rapidly growing market positions MTN as an enabler of exciting new leading edge businesses. The MTN footprint, subscriber base, payment capability, network and brand awareness strongly underpin the synergies already being manifested in our other investments. We look forward to working with Amadeus and the Travelstart team to accelerate the business development of this adjacency.” Herman Singh, Group Chief Digital Officer, MTN, added.