Expedia invests $350M in Traveloka to create Southeast Asia’s newest unicorn

Expedia is deepening its focus on Southeast Asia after it invested $350 million in Traveloka, an online travel portal based out of Indonesia.

A source close to the deal confirmed that the investment values Traveloka at more than $1 billion. That means the startup has joined the likes of Grab, Sea (formerly Garena), Go-Jek and Lazada in the region’s unicorn club.

Expedia said it has picked up a “minority” stake in the company. Alongside its investment, it disclosed that Traveloka has also raised an additional $150 million over the past year from other investors, including East Ventures, Hillhouse Capital Group, JD.com and Sequoia Capital.

Traveloka was founded in Indonesia in 2012, and today it services Southeast Asia’s six primary markets — Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines. The startup previously raised seed funding rounds from East Ventures and Rocket Internet’s Global Founders Capital, but its most recent public round was way back in 2013.

Beyond new capital, Traveloka has partnered with Expedia to add international hotel accommodation beyond Asia to its platform.

Southeast Asia boasts a population of 600 million people, with rapidly growing internet access and smartphone sales giving it real potential as a tech market. A 2016 report co-authored by Google forecast that the region’s internet economy will grow 6.5-fold from $31 billion in 2015 to $197 billion in 2025. Travel is estimated to account for 45 of that, figure according to the report.

Unsurprisingly, that has caught the eye of investors from outside of the region, with Alibaba and Tencent among those taking a serious look at local startups.