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Yanolja, a SoftBank-backed travel IT firm, has acquired Interpark, a Korean e-commerce company

Yanolja, a South Korean travel tech firm, has paid $250 million for a 70% interest in Interpark, a listed South Korean e-commerce pioneer.

The company plans to use the purchase to increase its position in the worldwide tourism market. Interpark caters to Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese-speaking consumers, offering online trip booking services and international shipping to over 230 countries.

The international tourist market is dominated by foreign travel tech platforms, but Yanolja hopes to compete by growing up and creating a “super app” that incorporates more of Interpark’s lifestyle services with Yanolja’s present offerings.

Yanolja raised $1.7 billion from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 in July, which coincided with the transaction. Yanolja was Softbank’s second-largest investment in a South Korean startup after Coupang, which got roughly $3 billion from the Japanese venture capital firm before going public.

Yanolja is said to be worth more than $8.4 billion (10 trillion KRW). It is expected to pursue a dual listing in the United States and South Korea in 2023, according to reports. Despite the massive cloud that has hung over the travel and tourist sectors for the past 20 months, the firm has been on a massive expansion spree. Yanolja was valued at over $1 billion in 2019 after concluding a $18 million deal.

Former hotel manager SuJin Lee, CEO and founder of Yanolja, created South Korea’s largest tourism tech business in 2005.

Yanolja said it has been investing in its global travel platform (GTP) and strengthening its automated solutions using artificial intelligence, with the goal of developing technology that would give more tailored solutions for consumers.

Yanolja released a new feature, Yanolja Cloud, a B2B operating solution, in July to further its digital transformation as the pandemic drives up demand for contactless services. Yanolja Cloud automates online and offline processes while also assisting hoteliers in increasing income by providing tailored services.

Yanolja announced today that Yanolja Cloud recorded 170% growth in revenues in the overseas market, including the U.S., Indonesia, the Philippines, India and Africa as of September, year on year. 

Yanolja has been making other acquisitions to scale up: in 2019, it picked up South Korea’s Dailyhotel and Indian lodging management platform eZee Technosys; in 2018 it acquired Southeast Asia-based hotel chain Zen Rooms

Yanolja intends to leverage the acquisition to expand its presence in the international tourist market and automates the revenue in the overseas market. All the best wishes to them.

Shishir Gupta, Founder and CEO, StartupLanes

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