The Russian language hotel and tourism booking startup, Ostrovok.ru, announced that it has completed a $12 million Series C round of financing this week which was led by Vaizra Capital, a fund backed by Vyacheslav Mirilashvili and Lev Leviev, who co-founded Vkontakte, Russia’s largest social network. The company will use the new infusion of capital to expand its services internationally and improve upon its apps.
Fritz Demopoulos, an early investor in Ostrovok and co-founder of Qunar, China’s leading hotel and airline booking service, became a member of the company’s board of directors as part of the financing deal.
The company had previously raised $38.6 million.
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Ostrovok.ru offers a hotel booking app that helps Russian speakers choose the best option among 135, 000 hotels in 200 countries worldwide. It promises that in only two minutes a user will find a hotel, pick a room and book it with their credit/debit card. The booking confirmation is sent by email and SMS.-
The company’s goal is to become a combined version of Hotels.com, Priceline and Booking.com, expanding from Russia to its surrounding nations.
Its app, which can be downloaded for free, features an area hotel search around the user by selected destination, “Hotel Tonight!” last-minute bookings in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and Kiev, pictures and detailed descriptions of hotels and rooms as well as 24/7 user support in Russian and English. It also offers its users hotel ratings based on guest reviews.
Ostrovok claims to have the largest hotels supply team in Russia and that it negotiates with its partners on a regular basis to get its users good hotel prices. They focus on destinations that are the most popular among Russian travelers.
It recently signed global distribution agreements with Marriot, Accor, Rezidor and Fairmont. Ostrovok also launched an iPad app this month which complements its iPhone and android apps, which the company says have 220, 000 users.
Ostrovok has received awards from publications such as National Geographic Travel and E-Travel Navigator.
Ostrovok.ru (“Island” in Russian) is a rapidly-growing consumer travel e-commerce company based in Moscow which enables Russian-speakers to easily find and book hotels globally. Founded in 2010 by its chief operating officer Serge Faguet and Kirill Makharinsky, Ostrovok is a privately held company backed by top Russian and Silicon Valley technology investors, including Yuri Milner, Accel Partners, Esther Dyson and Atomico Ventures. It has over $50 million in funding to date.
Leviev previously partnered with Vyacheslav (Yitzhak) Mirilashvili on the Russian social network they founded called Vkontakte. The two sold their shares in that company this past April.