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Excl: Yatra raises $14.5M in series D round of funding

Yatra Online, one of the top three online travel agencies (OTA) in India, has raised $14.5 million (Rs 80 crore) in a series D round of funding. The money was raised from a group of five unnamed investors, according to an SEC disclosure.

The fundraising is through series D preferred stock, which is convertible into common shares. The OTA was looking to raise around $16.5 million.

When Techcircle.in got in touch with Yatra co-founder & CEO Dhruv Shringi, he denied the latest development and did not respond to the specific questions sent by us about the SEC disclosure.

The OTA counts Valiant Capital Management, Norwest Venture Partners, Reliance Capital, Network18 and Intel Capital, the strategic investment arm of chipmaker Intel, among its key shareholders.

Last year, Yatra had raised $45 million (Rs 200 crore at that time) in what was said to be a pre-IPO round of funding. The company had indicated then that it would not raise more funding prior to the proposed IPO, slated for 2013. The money raised last year was to be used to expand Yatra's holiday and hotel booking services through acquisitions.

Although the purpose of the latest fundraising could not be immediately confirmed, last week Yatra acquired the online hotels aggregator Travelguru.com from Travelocity for an undisclosed amount. Separate media reports pegged the deal at around Rs 100 crore.

This was Yatra's third acquisition within a year. Earlier this year, Yatra acquired Buzzintown, a website providing information on hotel deals and events. Buzzintown is backed by the venture capital firm Intel Capital (it invested through two rounds in 2008 and 2009), who has also invested in Yatra. Last August, Yatra snapped up Bangalore-based Magic Rooms Solutions India Pvt Ltd, a hotels aggregation site backed by Nexus Venture Partners.

In October 2010, the OTA also acquired Delhi-based Travel Services International for an undisclosed sum and entered the ticket consolidation space.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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