Secret Escapes secures $60M from Google Ventures


Secret Escapes - Main Feature 4Secret Escapes secures $60M from Google Ventures. The company is an exclusive members-only travel club offering discounted rates on luxury handpicked hotels and holidays in the United Kingdom.

Secret Escapes negotiate exclusive rates for luxury hand-picked hotels and holidays in the UK and abroad. A whopping 70% discount provided on the tag price during booking of a room, all the hotels and spas are handpicked and offers curated by the company’s travel experts. Secret Escapes is an expert in finding boutique hotels with stunning designs, five start spas and tropical beach resorts.

The company work with only hotels that give exclusive rates to the club members. Secret Escapes conducts flash sales to provide higher traction on the bookings. Every month the company run short flash sales for ten days each. On an average 140 sales going on at any given time, also the Secret Escapes will notify its users on each schedule of flash sales.

Secret Escapes - Main Feature 1Secret Escapes was founded in 2010 by Troy Collins, Alex Saint and Tom Valentine. Troy Collins is the founder and founding Chief Executive Officer of the company. He has graduated in Bachelor of Arts in International Business from Griffith University in 2001. Most of the professional life he worked as business development manager for several companies like Hotonline, Associated Northcliffe Digital, ANM, Associated New Media till May 2005.

In June 2005, Troy became Director in and he became owner and director of DMC Digital Limited. He is Managing Director of from April 2011. He is a mentor for Microsoft Ventures Accelerator London from February 2014.

Secret Escapes - Main Feature 2Alex Saint is the Chief Executive Officer of Secret Escapes. He holds graduation in Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of Nottingham in 1993. Alex started his career in Unilever’s sales and marketing department from 1994. He held this position till January 2001. In 2000, he became a publisher in Associated New Media and in 2001 and Thisis Travel from January 2001 to February 2006. For a year, he became a consultant in Teletext Holidays. Additionally he became Chief Executive in DMC Digital Ltd in January 2005. He held this post till September 2011. In June 2010, he became co-founder of Secret Escapes.

Tom Valentine is co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Secret Escapes. He has graduated in Bachelor of Arts in Experimental Psychology from the University of Oxford in 2002. He became Direct Marketing Executive in eBay in March 2004 later on became Marketing Manager and Strategy and Business Development Manager in eBay. He worked with eBay for almost 4 years.

Secret Escapes - Main Feature 3In June 2008, Tom became programme director – selling in Seatwave. He was managing product, customer retention and customer behaviour at one of the Europe’s largest online ticket marketplace. In October 2009, Tom became Product & Marketing Director of E-Trade Group. He held this post till October 2010, after which he joined Secret Escapes as Managing Director in November 2010.

Secret Escapes received their Series ‘A’ funding in Oct 2011 for an undisclosed amount by Atlas Venture and Octopus Investments. The company received their Series ‘B’ funding for 8 million pounds from Index Ventures and existing investors. Secret Escapes secured $60 million as Series ‘C’ funds from Google Ventures and existing investors. On the whole the company has received $72.9M in funding from various PE investors.

Secret Escapes - Main Feature 5Secret Escapes has a presence in the United Kingdom and with this funding it plans to consolidate its position. They have expanded to the United States, Germany and the Nordic countries.

In order to augment the growth, Secret Escapes has acquired online travel startup companies like JustBook – hotel circle providing information and offers on hotels located in various cities for an undisclosed amount in January 2014. The company acquired MyCityVenue for all cash and stock deal. MyCityVenue is an exclusive members-only experiences and events platform offering several things from 1200 venues across the United Kingdom.

Secret Escapes - Main Feature 6Secret Escapes has sold nearly 2 million room nights since the launch of the company. The company has global membership 19+ million. Google Ventures has invested in Europe, so far they have invested in music licensing platform Kobalt, personalised book publisher Lost My Name, email conversions marketing technology business Yieldify. Google Ventures have invested in the Oxford Science Innovation Fund to augment high-tech business churning out of the UK’s Oxford University.

Secret Escapes may consolidate the business with the funding in the coming times, in turn it will help to bolster its position in the segment.