Singapore’s Easybook said to be closing $3m Series A:Report

Visual from the Easybook social media page. October 2015

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.

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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.

OWW Capital was formerly known as OCBC, Wearnes and Walden Management and established as a joint venture entity by OCBC Bank, WBL Corp, and Walden International in 1991.

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.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.