Travelmenu today announced that it has raised $1.6 million in growth capital from Almaz Capital Partners, general partner of the Almaz Capital Russia Fund I (also known as the Almaz Capital/Cisco Russia Fund I) and Runa Capital, two leading venture capital firms in Russia. Travelmenu will use the funds to invest in a direct-to-consumer marketing campaign and build additional sales infrastructure.
Travelmenu was founded by Harvard Business School graduates Nina Pogossova and Katrin Buckenmaier (see photo) as wellas Mikhail Pogossov and Oleg Kopachevts. The team shares a passion for travel and also has relevant industry experience with Expedia and lastminute.com.
Travelmenu benefits from being the first in Russia to offer consumers a comprehensive suite of travelproducts, including hotels, flights and package holidays at one web destination.
The Russian travel market is characterized by being substantially package holiday driven and Travelmenu is well-positioned to capitalize on this by offering package holidays from 70 package tour operators, including such Russian leaders as TezTour, Mostravel and Coraltour. In addition, Travelmenu offers direct booking access to over 277,000 hotels and 500 airlines globally, allowing consumers to plan their trips more individualistically. Travelmenu is offering a Lowest Price Guarantee on all of its hotel and package holiday product.
Travelmenu allows users to pay for purchases using a wide variety of options, including wire transfers, PayPal, Yandex.Dengi, WebMoney, Contact, Qiwi and Eleksnet payment terminals, and, most importantly, cash at any of the 2,700 offline partner travel agencies. The company provides 24/7 customer support via email or call center.
Nina Pogossova, CEO ofTravelmenu, commented: "We are pleased to have found such strong partners towork with us on building Travelmenu into the leading online travel brand in Russia. Having focused on product aggregation for the last two years, we arenow ready to offer the Russian and Ukrainian traveler the widest choice of hotels and package holidays online at the lowest possible price.
Katrin Buckenmaier, CFOof Travelmenu, added: "Almaz Capital Partners and Runa Capital were founded by two of the most high-profile names in IT in Russia: Sasha Galitsky and Serguei Beloussov. With their help we will now be able to accelerate Travelmenu's growth and invest in the necessary infrastructure to provide the Russian and Ukrainian traveler with the best customer value proposition available in the online market today."
Alexander Galitsky, co-founder and managing partner of Almaz Capital, said: "We have been looking for an online travel company with a professional team and in Travelmenu we have found the company that is best positioned to take the advantage of the migration of the Russian and Ukrainian tourism industry to the Internet"
Andre Bliznyuk, Partner at Runa Capital, commented: "The Russian travel market overall, and the B2C segment in particular, are poised for significant growth driven by underlying macro drivers such as increasing wealth, internet connectivity, further spreadof secure online payment systems and credit card penetration, coupled with continued relaxation of visa requirements. We are confident that Travelmenu'sprofessional and experienced team will be able to capture this growth, creating significant shareholder value".�