Middle Eastern online travel agency (OTA) announced today to merge with Southeast Asia’s OTA Tripfez in addition to raising a US$16 million Series C round, as the two companies join forces to tap into the burgeoning Muslim travelling economy.
Gobi Partners led the fresh round, joined by India’s Accel Partners, UAE’s Global Ventures, Egypt’s largest VC Algebra Ventures, and Lebanon-based B&Y Venture Partners.
Holidayme raised its US$12 million Series B in May.
Founded in 2014, Holidayme aimed to answer the questions challenging travellers across the Middle East, including an inefficient booking process and a lack of dedicated platforms for Muslim-friendly holiday packages and hotels.
Since its establishment four years ago, Holidayme has grown rapidly with a GMV growth rate of 127% yoy, and a 163% transactions growth yoy.
Muslim travelling market
The merger with Tripfez also marks Holidayme’s expansion to the Southeast Asian market, known as the home to the world’s largest Muslim population.
“After experiencing phenomenal growth in the Middle East, the merger with Tripfez marks an extension of our business into Southeast Asia. We are focused on providing a niche product carved towards the travel requirements of 1.8 billion Muslims globally, and Southeast Asia is key to that plan,” Geet Bhalla, Co-founder, and CEO of Holidayme said in a press release.
Tripfez shared a similar vision with Holidayme to help Muslim travellers make mindful choices and book the right accommodation to meet their needs. Through their Salam Standard certification process, hotels are reviewed and scored to see how Muslim-friendly their rooms and amenities are, which includes the availability of praying mat, Qibla direction, alcohol-free mini bar, etc.
Tripfez had raised $750,000 in a seed round led by Gobi Partners and Intres Capital back in 2016.
Faeez Fadliilah, co-founder of Tripfez, thought the merger is a major milestone in the ongoing development of the fast-growing Muslim travel and tourism sector.
In an effort to strengthen their position as the biggest Muslim-friendly travel agencies, Holidayme and Tripfez also pay big attention to their umrah (Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia) programme as it promises big opportunity, especially among Muslim-majority countries, as the two companies are also “building a next-generation Umrah solution” to cater to the 30 million potential Umrah visitors by 2030.
Editor: Ben Jiang