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Traveloka raises USD 250 million to help support operations amid COVID-19

Traveloka said it witnessed “a historic drop” in business activity caused by the pandemic towards levels never seen before.

After weeks of speculation, Indonesian travel tech unicorn Traveloka confirmed on Tuesday that it raised USD 250 million in fresh capital, led by “a global financial institution” with participation from existing backers including EV Growth.

According to a report by Bloomberg earlier this month, Traveloka was in final negotiations with investors that included Siam Commercial Bank and FWD Group. Nonetheless, it chose not to disclose their identity.

Traveloka said that it will utilize the funding to strengthen its balance sheet and to deepen its offerings in a number of priority areas. The company admitted that it has seen a significant drop in business activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its partners across transport, accommodation, activities, and dining experienced major disruptions. Hotels witnessed the lowest occupancy ever, while domestic and regional activity partners had to shut down operations temporarily.

However, traffic is bouncing back slowly as lockdowns ease in Southeast Asia. The company has seen a resurgence of domestic, and short-distance travel, as well as activities bookings in Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

“I am happy to share that we are seeing an encouraging recovery across all of our key markets,” said co-founder and CEO Ferry Unardi in a press statement. “Our business in Vietnam is approaching steady pre-COVID-19 levels and Thailand is on its way to surpassing 50%. Indonesia and Malaysia are still in the early stage, but they continue to demonstrate promising momentum with strong week-to-week improvement, especially in accommodation with the emergence of shorter distance staycation behavior,” he added.

The pandemic is hitting the travel industry especially hard. Traveloka’s budget hotel chain affiliate Airy had to shut down operations permanently due to the severe economic challenge caused by the crisis.