HalalBooking received a $5 million investment in March 2021. The investment is the first part of the larger $20 million campaign to raise Series B funding. $5 million was invested by a group of private angel investors, including British Business Bank, in the form of a pre-Series B convertible loan agreement. The company is currently in discussions with a few VC and PE funds to act as a lead investor for the remaining $15 million. The forecasted valuation is $75 million. The company hopes to choose the lead investor and close the round within the second quarter of 2021. The funds raised will be used to boost the company’s exponential growth for 2022-24 and achieve a $1bln IPO target in 2024.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, HalalBooking had been experiencing 70% compound annual growth rates in recent years. Following the successful Series A round in 2019, the growth rate had accelerated to over 100% year on year during the early months of the 2020 season. Naturally, Covid hit hard during Q2 2020 but the company hit full recovery in Q3 2020, meaning sales during this period were on a par with the Q3 2019 period. During 2020, a very difficult year for the travel sector, the company performed well and managed to retain all of its staff members. It is making sure that the Covid impact is only short-term and does not affect the company’s longer-term prospects.
Sales in 2021 so far are very promising. In spite of negative news and new waves of Covid in Europe, the company’s main market, Q1 sales were down by less than half, in comparison with Q1 2019. April started even better, especially in the UK, and the company forecasts that it will reach parity with the same period in 2019 by May and that sales will spike and double by July-August.
Elnur Seyidli, CEO of HalalBooking said:
“We are in a great position to resume our exponential growth now. I feel confident that we are bouncing back strongly”. He explained: “We have a strong brand and have weathered the Covid pandemic well. We managed to retain all of our staff and used the time wisely to develop a lot of new tech. The travel industry in general may take 3-4 years to recover to 2019 levels, but we are in the best sector of the travel industry – we are in leisure rather than business; and in accommodation rather than flights. The “leisure accommodation” sector should see a strong recovery this year in Q3 and Q4. So for a brand like ours, which had 100% growth trajectory pre-Covid, it should not be surprising if we are able to resume our exponential growth this year. And with the $20 million Series B investment, $5M of which we have already secured, we can now accelerate our growth rate even further.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
HalalBooking.com is the leading international search and booking website for halal-friendly hotel and villa accommodation. It features over 83,000 properties in over 50 countries worldwide, which can be filtered according to halal needs such as availability of halal food, alcohol-free arrangements and ladies-only and private family swimming pools, spas and beaches. HalalBooking has over 200,000 customers from more than 100 countries and more than 2,000 affiliate agency partners providing a unique service to halal-conscious travellers throughout the world.