Yanolja Raises USD 1.7 billion in new funding from SoftBank Vision Fund 2
New funding to strengthen technology capabilities and continue leading digital transformation of the global travel and hospitality industry
SEOUL, South Korea – Yanolja (CEO & Founder LEE Su Jin), South Korea’s leading travel and leisure platform, has completed a USD 1.7 billion investment round by sole investor SoftBank Vision Fund 2*, one of the world’s largest technology-focused investment funds.
By utilizing IoT, AI, big data and blockchain technologies, Yanolja has been accelerating the digital transformation of the global travel and hospitality industry through its innovation, cloud-based platform. Yanolja provides travel super app service including accommodation, leisure, transportation, and restaurant, and has become one of the fastest growing travel sector unicorns across the globe.
In South Korea, Yanolja spearheaded the digitization of the domestic travel industry through its “Travel Super App” strategy, while globally, the company has focused on the growth and expansion of its cloud-based hospitality solutions business. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing significant decline in travel businesses globally, Yanolja achieved both net growth and gains in operating profit last year, setting a solid foundation for sustainable growth.
The investment will enable Yanolja, who is already South Korea’s No. 1 Travel Super App and the No. 1 global travel cloud solutions company, to scale and continue leading the digital transformation of the global travel and hospitality industry, which is estimated to be USD 3 trillion. Yanolja plans to use the funding to invest in the development of innovative technologies and to expand its technology offerings in new markets. In particular, Yanolja plans to build and operate a more advanced global travel platform (GTP) by upgrading and enhancing its automated solutions using artificial intelligence and personalized offerings based on big data.
“Powered by AI, we believe Yanolja is a leader in transforming the travel and leisure industry in South Korea through its Travel Super App approach,” said Greg Moon, Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “We are delighted to partner with Lee Su Jin and the Yanolja team in their quest to expand into new markets and drive further innovation in the travel and leisure industry.”
LEE Su Jin, CEO of Yanolja, noted “I am delighted that Yanolja, together with SoftBank Vision Fund 2, can collectively pursue and realize our goal of making the global travel and hospitality markets hyperconnected through technology. We will accelerate digital transformation in this sector as the global leading hospitality Tech Company and Travel Super App, by fully leveraging our unique technological capabilities.”
Yanolja is the fastest-growing No.1 OTA, and the only ‘Unicorn’ among travel related companies in South Korea. In the platform business, as a ‘Super App’, Yanolja provides all services for travel including accommodation, leisure, and transportation. Yanolja is now also one of the global Top 2 PMS providers by effectively utilizing IoT, AI, big data and blockchain technologies. It has integrated entire hotel operations, covering from front office to back office. Yanolja connects the B2B2C value chain of the global hospitality industry with a one-stop network and integrates it into a single platform.
*As of the date of this press release, SoftBank Group Corp. has made capital contributions to allow investments by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 (“SVF 2”) in certain portfolio companies. The information included herein is made for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy limited partnership interests in any fund, including SVF 2. SVF 2 has yet to have an external close, and any potential third-party investors shall receive additional information related to any SVF 2 investments prior to closing.