HalalBooking,the leading international search and booking website for halal-friendly holidays, is pleased to announce a pre-series A round, with a valuation of $50 million USD. $2 million was raised from a group of individual investors, led by Azar Gurbanov, a co-founder of New York-based FSAstore.com, the USA’s leading wellness e-commerce website, which recently achieved a successful exit.
Elnur Seyidli, CEO of HalalBooking said: “Following a series of meetings with potential investors, I am delighted to announce our pre-series A round. The lead investor has already committed to $1 million and we are finalising the list of other participants. The final round total is likely to be $2 or possibly $2.5 million, to be concluded by October. This investment will allow us to further accelerate our existing growth for 2020 by increasing marketing spend in our key markets.”
The first half of 2019 has been very successful for the online search and booking platform, with more than 60% growth in net revenue compared to the same period in 2018. A new monthly record was set in July with $4.5 million worth of bookings made online on HalalBooking.com.
HalalBooking is known for its technical innovation and continues to introduce new features to improve the user experience for its customers and affiliate partners worldwide.
Seyidli continued: “Initially we were planning to hold a larger $10 million Series A round, but decided that it would be better to do a smaller $2-3 million round this year. This will allow us to accelerate our growth plans for 2020, and then perhaps do a large $10-20 million Series A round in 2020 and achieve our $1 billion unicorn goal by 2024. As the market for halal-friendly travel grows worldwide and awareness increases around this $230 billion niche, we are attracting more and more interest. Increasingly, investors are interested in making investments into niche sectors of significant size and are attracted by the fact that our business model truly helps make travel easier for halal-conscious holidaymakers throughout the world.”
Ufuk Seçgin, Chief Marketing Officer, added: “The timing of the investment, which we will primarily use for marketing activities, cannot be better, as Sebastian Fallert, former MD UK of Secret Escapes, one of the world’s biggest niche online travel agencies, has recently joined us as a non-executive board member. Sebastian has a PhD in Computing (University of Cambridge) and is an experienced entrepreneur who has built businesses which have achieved successful exits. He will be helping us with growth acceleration for 2020.”