Google Ventures continues London spending spree, backs Secret Escapes in £38.7m round

Google Ventures Europe has teamed up with other investors to fund online travel club Secret Escapes to the tune of £38.7 million ($60 million).

The search giant's venture capital unit expanded to Europe last year and has made four investments since, all of which have been in London companies, a sign that the UK capital is one of the leading technology hubs in Europe.

Secret Escapes, founded in 2010 and currently available in 13 countries, said it plans to use the money to make acquisitions and expand further into the US and Asia.

Alex Saint, cofounder and CEO of Secret Escapes, said: "The cash injection of $60m will enable Secret Escapes to continue making great strides to replicate the success of our UK business. We forecast to be a global multi-billion turnover business by the end of the decade."

Since launching, Secret Escapes has sold just shy of two million room nights and grown its user base to over 19 million worldwide. The company's turnover was £65 million in 2013, while year-on-year revenue growth is at 260 percent.

Google Ventures partner Tom Hulme added: "Secret Escapes has brought deals to millions of customers seeking luxury travel accommodations and continues to expand its business into global markets. The company's growing partnership base gives it a significant advantage to connect world-class hotels with travellers."

Previous investors Index Ventures and Atlas Ventures also participated in the latest round.

Google Ventures has over $1.5 billion under management and has backed companies like Uber and DocuSign in the US. The Google Ventures European team has $125 million at its disposal.


Sam Shead

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