#Asia AirAsia acquires travel planning startup Touristly for US$2.6M; will allow guests to book travel activities


The acquisition was made via an asset injection and a loan deal

Budget airline carrier AirAsia has acquired a 50 per cent stake in Malaysia-based travel planning startup Touristly through an asset injection and loan deal valued at RM11.5 million (US$2.6 million).

This deal will significantly broaden Touristly’s customer base to all of AirAsia’s guests and in turn, allow them to book over 13,000 travel activities, including theme parks, restaurants, spas and tours at over 70 destinations.

There are two parts to this deal: AirAsia’s inflight magazine Travel 3Sixty will integrate its digital platform, worth RM 6.5 million (US$1.47 million) into Touristly via AirAsia Investments; the second part would be a RM5 million (US$1.13 million) convertible loan designated for Touristly’s working capital and development.

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“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,” said ​​Touristly CEO Aaron Sarma said in an official press release.

Travel 3Sixty’s digital platform consists of online advertising assets and other AirAsia online properties. With these assets at its disposable, Touristly will be able to reach AirAsia’s 60 million guests annually.

Touristly will also gain access to AirAsia’s offline advertising assets, including the physical version of the inflight magazine, overhead cabins and seat trays on AirAsia aircraft.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes will serve as Chairman of the Board for Touristly upon completion of the acquisition.

AirAsia first made an investment in Touristly last year through its incubator and accelerator arm Tune Labs.

“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 airline,” said Fernandes.

Image Credit: AirAsia

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