Jakarta. Travel-booking platform Traveloka has raised $250 million in its latest funding round, providing the company with enough cash to steady its footing and bounce back after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Traveloka said a "global financial institution" led the funding round. At the same time, existing investors like EV Growth, a venture capital-backed by Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas, also took part in the round.
Ferry Unardi, Traveloka's co-founder and chief executive officer, said the pandemic had brought the company's business down to its lowest point.
Indonesia, Traveloka's largest market, saw the number of domestic and international air travel passengers drop 43 percent to 21 million in the first five months this month, down from 36.8 million in the same period last year, according to data from the Central Statistics Agency. The hotel occupancy ratio also fell to just 14.5 percent in May, from 43.5 percent a year earlier, the official data showed.
"However, we always believed that the company would prevail by rapidly adjusting our strategy, working with our industry and ecosystem partners, as well as continuing to innovate for our users, our ultimate focus," Ferry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The chief executive said he had seen recoveries in Traveloka key markets.
"Our business in Vietnam is approaching steady pre-Covid-19 levels, and Thailand business is on its way to surpassing 50," Ferry said.
"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 said.
The government is planning to reopen parts of the country to tourists. Bali has been conducting trials to welcome tourists with strict health protocol for a few weeks now and prepared for a full reopening in September.
Indonesia's tourism and hospitality were the sectors hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hariyadi Sukamdani, the chairperson of the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI), said this pandemic had forced more than 2,000 hotels and 8,000 restaurants to close across the country.
"As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the potential foreign exchange losses from the hotel and tourism sector from January to June 2020 amounted to $6 billion," Hariadi said.
Hariyadi said that the association also estimated airline companies suffered total losses of $ 812 million in the period while and tour operators' losses were Rp 4 trillion ($275 million).