Secret Escapes, which was the one of the businesses profiled as part of GrowthBusiness’ Tech City Diaries in March, has closed its second institutional funding round.
The London-based business is a free-to-join members website which runs flash sales of four and five-star hotels and holidays.
It was launched in February 2011 by CEO Alex Saint and managing director Tom Valentine after Saint finished an earn-out following the sale of Dealchecker to French travel company Easyvoyage for £8.4 million.
Its first round of investment saw it raise seed capital in April 2011 through the Titan Venture Capital Trusts 3 & 4 and Octopus Venture Partners. It then followed it up in October by closing its first institutional round.
The £8.4 million of newly secured capital will be used by Secret Escapes to boost UK growth and launch internationally. Joining Index Ventures in the round are Octopus Ventures and Atlas Venture.
According to the business it has achieved ‘phenomenal’ revenue growth of 1400 per cent the 12 months to August 2012.
Saint comments, ‘Our extraordinary growth, given the economic challenges facing the industry, is a testament that we are delivering successfully to our members and high-end consumers.
‘The funding will offer us the extra leverage to develop the brand, extend the range and choice of travel offers that we can give our customers even better value and expand aggressively in the UK.’
Secret Escapes says it has ‘ambitious plans’ to double its membership to over four million by the end of 2013.
Speaking to GrowthBusiness, Alliott Cole, principal in the early stage investment team at Octopus, adds, ‘We consider ourselves really lucky that Alex Saint asked us to invest in the business from inception two years ago: while high risk, we could see that here was a very talented, expert group of entrepreneurs with bold ambitions.
‘Since that point, the business has grown explosively and we view this latest round of funding as an opportunity for the business to grow even faster in the coming months.’