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Korean hotel platform Yanolja raises $180M at a valuation of over $1B

The travel tech industry has got another unicorn. Following the likes of Airbnb, OYO, Traveloka and Klook, Korea’s Yanolja said today it has closed a $180 million Series D round that takes it valuation beyond $1 billion.
The investment is led by GIC, a Singapore sovereign wealth fund, and Booking Holdings, the U.S. firm behind travel services such as Booking.com, Agoda.com and more. The company had previously raised around $60 million, according to Crunchbase data. In 2017, Bloomberg reported that its valuation was over $500 million.
Yanolja is best known for reinventing the concept of love hotels in Korea — turning them from seedy places into attractive short-term rental options for young people and travelers. Founded by a former hotel worker, Lee Su-jin, it started out as an advertising platform for love hotels before adding its own app-based booking service.
Today it claims more than 200 hotels in Korea and it has expanded overseas. Last year, it struck a deal to invest $15 million into Zen Rooms, a Rocket Internet-backed budget hotel network, in what could eventually become an acquisition. Now, it is spreading its wings through a partnership with Agoda, the hotel booking platform owned by Booking.
Korean hotel platform Yanolja raises $180M at a valuation of over $1B
Yanolja stepped into Southeast Asia last year after it invested $15 million into Zenrooms
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