Singapore-based Easybook.com, which claims to operate the largest land, sea travel and tours booking website in Southeast Asia, is reported to be in the final stages of closing a Series A round worth $3 million.
Digital News Asia reported that sources familiar with the deal disclosed Easybook executives had signed a term sheet with the prospective investor, with a funding agreement to be finalised with Q4 2015. Digital News Asia quoted a source as saying, “The funds raised will be used to fuel the company’s aggressive expansion plan.”
Easybook founder William Lee has declined to issue any public comments on this transaction.
Founded in 2005, the firm offers online bus booking services of coaches and express bus tickets from Singapore to and from Malaysia, within peninsular Malaysia, East Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Currently, it partners with more than 150 bus companies, offering more than 10,000 departures per day on over 6000 routes.
Some of the destinations it serves includes Kuala Lumpur, Genting Highlands, Malacca, Bangkok and Jakarta, amongst other cities in the region.
It also offers train ticketing services in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan. This is in addition to ferry tickets in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. 2014 saw it launch car rental bookings in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
If successfully closed, this series of funding would signal an intensification in the competition in the regional online bus ticketing space. Kuala Lumpur-based CatchThatBus, an online bus ticketing service provider, recently secured a $1.5-million pre-Series A round from Jungle Ventures and 500 Startups.
Easybook is commonly perceived as a competitor to CatchThatBus. However, given the array of service offerings, Easybook seems more strongly positioned across multiple segments.
To date, Easybook has raised $1 million from OWW Capital Partners in two tranches; a $500,000 seed round in March 2014 and a bridging loan worth $500,000 in May 2015.
2006 saw the OWW management team conduct a management buyout of WBL’s stake, rebranding to OWW Capital. OCBC exited the entity in 2014 when its interest was acquired by OWW Capital’s management as well. It claims to have $140 million in assets under management (AUM) and has invested in iFast Corp, BuzzCity, Catcha and Wego; though it has already exited Catcha and Wego.
According to its website, OWW focuses on investments in service providers the information communications technology (ICT), logistics, education/ training, healthcare, financial services and consumer services sectors in Southeast Asia and Greater China markets.