Google Ventures Joins $60M Round For Members-Only Travel Site, Secret Escapes

U.K.-based members-only luxury travel site, Secret Escapes, has pulled in a $60 million funding round, with investment coming from new investor Google Ventures, along with existing investors including Index Ventures and Octopus Investments.

Google Ventures’ partner Tom Hulme noted Google’s participation in the new funding in a tweet earlier today:

The startup last raised back in 2012, when it took in $8 million with a plan to bolster its position in the domestic market and expand into the U.S., Germany and the Nordic countries. In the past few years it’s made several small acquisitions, either rivals in the online travel space or aimed at expanding the events side of its business.

More acquisitions for Secret Escapes look likely, given its new cash injection and stated aim of accelerating its global growth. The IBT reports Secret Escapes has sold nearly 2 million room nights since launch in 2011, and now has a global membership of more than 19 million.

The business is only the fourth startup investment for Google Ventures in Europe, following the firm opening up a London office last July — with a remit to tap the potential of Europe’s startup scene. In the event, it’s so far invested exclusively in the U.K.

Other investments from its London office so far are music licensing platform specialist Kobalt; personalised book publisher Lost My Name; and email conversions marketing tech business Yieldify. Google Ventures has also invested in the Oxford Science Innovation Fund, which is looking to back high tech business spinning out of the U.K.’s Oxford University.