General Atlantic Announces Strategic Partnership with Travel Platform Kiwi.com
June 3, 2019
Global growth equity firm General Atlantic announced today a strategic investment in Kiwi.com, a leading online travel booking platform powered by cutting-edge technology. Co-founders Oliver Dlouhý and Jozef Képesi will remain significant shareholders and continue to drive Kiwi.com’s strategic growth plans in partnership with General Atlantic. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Kiwi.com (or “the Company”) a rapidly growing technology company, was founded in 2012 and was recognized as the #1 fastest-growing Czech start-up by Forbes Magazine in 2017 and 2018. Through its proprietary technology and algorithms, Kiwi.com has a unique ability to offer expansive flight options to value-conscious consumers. The Company pioneered technology that matches passengers to multiple carriers and flights on single itineraries, and partners with airlines, online travel agencies, and metasearch engines to sell more than €1 billion in tickets across the globe.
“We are thrilled to partner with General Atlantic as we embark on our next phase of growth, seeking to bring optionality and value to our expanding customer base in an increasingly complex online travel market,” said Mr. Dlouhý. “The firm’s deep expertise in the tech and travel sectors and track record of helping high-growth, category-disrupting companies achieve global scale will be hugely beneficial as we take Kiwi.com to the next level.”
“In just six years, Oliver and the Kiwi.com team have profitably built one of the most disruptive and transformative technology platforms in the large and fragmented online travel industry,” said Tanzeen Syed, Managing Director at General Atlantic. “We look forward to supporting Oliver’s vision of creating a seamless and comprehensive travel experience for value conscious consumers worldwide.”
“We firmly believe that consumers increasingly demand differentiated services to meet their needs,” added Chris Caulkin, Managing Director at General Atlantic. “Kiwi is certainly at the forefront of technology solutions that are bringing significant value to travelers, airlines, and metasearch platforms alike.”
Drawing from nearly 40 years of experience investing in over 350 global growth companies, General Atlantic focuses on sectors that continue to be shaped by technology and innovation, developing and capitalizing on disruptive themes. Past and current investments in the global online travel industry include Priceline, Airbnb, Meituan, Flixbus, Uber, Despegar, Smiles and Mafengwo.
Citi is acting as exclusive financial adviser to Kiwi.com in connection to this transaction. CMS and DLA Piper are providing legal advice to Kiwi.com and its shareholders on this transaction. Weil, Gotshal & Manges is providing legal advice to General Atlantic.
Citi is acting for the company and no one else in connection with the sale of Kiwi.com described herein and will not be responsible to any other person other than the Company for providing the protections afforded to clients of Citi or for providing advice in relation to such sale.
About General Atlantic
General Atlantic is a leading global growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support for growth companies. Established in 1980, General Atlantic combines a collaborative global approach, sector specific expertise, a long-term investment horizon and a deep understanding of growth drivers to partner with great entrepreneurs and management teams to build exceptional businesses worldwide. General Atlantic has more than 150 investment professionals based in New York, Amsterdam, Beijing, Greenwich, Hong Kong, Jakarta, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Munich, Palo Alto, São Paulo, Shanghai, and Singapore. For more information on General Atlantic, please visit the website: www.generalatlantic.com.
Kiwi.com (formally known as SkyPicker) was founded in 2012 by Oliver Dlouhý and Jozef Képesi. The travel tech company was created for travelers by travelers. Powered by its proprietary algorithm that allows users to combine flights from over 500 airlines (virtual interlining), it is one of the fastest growing technology companies in Central Europe. Today, the company sees more than 90 million flight searches every day and employs over 2,400 people worldwide. 2018 saw the launch of NOMAD, a revolutionary new way to combine cheap flights and Tequila, the new B2B platform is for partners of all sizes. For the second consecutive year, Kiwi.com was named the best Start-up of the Czech Republic by the Czech Forbes Magazine (June 2018).