Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) has completed its exit from Skyscanner, following the formal completion of the company’s £1.4 billion sale to Ctrip, the Chinese online travel services provider.
SEP, which was Skyscanner’s largest shareholder, owned approximately one third of the Edinburgh-headquartered travel search company and made its initial investment in 2007.
At the time, Skyscanner employed less than 30 people, had revenues of approximately £1 million and focused on budget airlines in Europe. It now has over 800 employees and is widely viewed as one of the top online travel brands in the world, serving 60 million monthly active users and available in over 30 languages.
Calum Paterson, SEP’s managing partner and a non-executive director at Skyscanner prior to its sale to Ctrip said: “We are pleased to have helped Skyscanner grow from modest beginnings into the global online travel business that it is today.
“The company’s founders, management team and employees deserve great credit for what has been achieved. We believe Ctrip will be the perfect partner for Skyscanner and that it will continue to go from strength to strength.”
Gareth Willliams, CEO and co-founder of Skyscanner said: “Skyscanner’s position as a world leading travel search business would not have been possible without the great support we have had from SEP. They have been a consistently engaged, informed and astute partner throughout our journey.”
The sale of Skyscanner to Ctrip is one of Europe’s largest-ever venture capital exits and SEP’s third “unicorn” exit in recent years, following on from Bluetooth technology company CSR and life sciences company Biovex.
Earlier this week, SEP was named Best European Venture/Growth Capital Fund at the Private Equity Exchange & Awards in Paris. The event, run by Leaders League, recognises the best performers among funds, investors and management teams across the European private equity industry.