Dubai-based Abraaj Group on Thursday announced it has acquired a minority stake in Biletal Iç ve Dis Ticaret, one of the leading online travel agents in Turkey.
The transaction marks the first-ever technology investment undertaken by a private equity or venture capital fund outside of Ankara in the Anatolia region of Turkey and is the third investment made from the Anatolia Growth Capital Fund, the company said in a statement.
Established in 2006, Biletall sells tickets for more than 170 intercity bus companies, over 120 domestic and international airlines, domestic ferry and train services.
The company is also the proprietary developer and operator of the sole global distribution system for online intercity bus tickets in Turkey.
Abraaj said Turkey’s online travel market is a "compelling sector" to invest in given the country’s growing middle class, young population and conversion of offline to online retail driven by changing habits and increased internet penetration.
Abraaj added that it will support Biletall’s growth through targeted marketing and advertising, enhancing the company’s loyalty program.
Selçuk Yorgancioglu, head of Turkey and Central Asia at The Abraaj Group, said: “This investment represents an opportunity to partner with a rapidly growing and profitable technology company based in the Anatolia region of Turkey.
"The Turkish online travel market is forecast to grow at over 20 percent per annum between now and 2026, and this projected growth offers significant opportunities for Biletall.”
Abraaj has been investing in Turkey since 2007 and its partner companies include the leading e-commerce business Hepsiburada, integrated logistics player Netlog and dairy manufacturer Yörsan Group.
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