AirAsia Berhad is acquiring a 50% stake in
online travel planner Touristly Travel Sdn Bhd through
an asset injection and loan deal valued at RM11.5 million.
The transaction will see AirAsia Berhad inject the digital
platform of its Travel 3Sixty inflight magazine, valued at RM6.5
million, into Touristly via AirAsia Investments Ltd and extend a
RM5 million convertible loan to Touristly for working capital and
The digital platform comprises the
online brand for the Travel 3Sixty inflight magazine, touchpoints
on airasia.com and online advertising
assets, which will allow the startup to reach AirAsia's 60 million
Touristly, which will operate
under the Travel 3Sixty brand following this deal, will also gain
access to offline advertising assets, including the physical
version of the inflight magazine, overhead cabins and seat trays
on AirAsia aircraft.
In addition, AirAsia Group CEO
Tony Fernandes will serve as Chairman of the Board for Touristly
upon completion of the acquisition.
The deal will
strengthen AirAsia's ancillary portfolio by offering its guests
on-ground activities such as restaurants, theme parks, attractions, spas and tours at more than 70 destinations that the
airline operates to.
Touristly CEO, Aaron Sarma,
said, "Working with AirAsia has been on our minds since our
inception. The insight we can gain from AirAsia's 15 years in the
travel industry will help us better understand the Asia Pacific
market and quickly adapt to deliver real value to our customers.
Our dream was to help travellers to Asia Pacific find amazing
things to do in the region and we're truly excited about this
opportunity to be able to share our platform with more people."
In May 2016, Touristly successfully
raised an undisclosed pre-Series A round from Tune Group startup
incubator Tune Labs, headed by Fernandes, Datuk Kamarudin Meranun
and Lim Kian Onn. Touristly was also one of two
startups selected at Pitch@Palace Malaysia in June 2016 to
represent the country at Pitch@Palace Global, which was held at St
James Palace in London, UK in December 2016.
AirAsia Group CEO, Tony Fernandes, said, "We see
enormous potential in Touristly, which perfectly complements
AirAsia's existing travel offering. Our guests will be able to
choose from thousands of activities when purchasing a flight and
this brings us a step closer to becoming a truly one-stop digital
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