Abraaj Group, one of the leading investors in growth markets, bought a minority stake in one of Turkey's leading online travel agents, Biletal, the investor said yesterday while the financial details of the purchase remained undisclosed.
The online travel market in Turkey is predicted to grow more than 20 percent annually until 2026, which offers significant growth opportunities for Biletal, Selçuk Yorgancıoğlu, head of Turkey and Central Asia at the Abraaj Group, said in a written statement.
The investment was made through Abraaj's Anatolia Growth Capital Fund, which invests in high growth companies in less developed regions of Turkey.
The Anatolia Growth Capital Fund is co-financed by Turkey and the European Union, with further financial support from the Istanbul Venture Capital Initiative and the Abraaj Group.
Investing in Turkey since 2007, Abraaj Group also has stakes in e-commerce platform Hepsiburada.com, logistics firm Netlog and dairy producer Yörsan Group.
Biletal began its operations by selling bus tickets online, and today sells tickets for around 170 intercity bus companies, more than 120 domestic and international airlines, domestic ferry and train services. It registered 42 percent growth in ticket sales from 2016 to 2017 through both online and offline sales channels, Abraaj Group said.
"Biletal, with its undisputed leadership in online bus tickets and fast-growing presence in online flight, ferry and train tickets, is well-positioned to capture a significant upside within the online travel and tourism sector in Turkey," said Levent Yeşildağ, director and head of Abraaj's Anatolia Growth Capital Fund.
Last month, Abraaj told Reuters the company would complete at least one acquisition in Turkey in the first half of next year, as it looks to deploy the remainder of its $500 million Turkey fund.
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