AirAsia Berhad is acquiring a 50% stake in online travel planner Touristly through an asset injection and loan deal valued at RM11.5 million (approx. USD 2.61 million). With this deal, AirAsia Berhad will inject the digital platform of its Travel 3Sixty inflight magazine (valued at RM6.5 million/USD 1.48 million), into Touristly via AirAsia Investments Ltd and extend a RM5 million (USD 1.48 million) convertible loan to Touristly for working capital and development.
The digital platform comprises the online brand for the Travel 3Sixty inflight magazine, touchpoints on airasia.com and online advertising assets, which will allow the startup to reach AirAsia’s 60 million guests annually. Along with this, Touristly will also gain access to offline advertising assets including the physical inflight magazine, overhead bins and seat trays on AirAsia flights.
On completion of the deal, AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes will serve as Chairman of the Board for Touristly. While the startup will gain customers with the reach of AirAsia, the airline will be able to offer a wider array of services and activities such as restaurants, theme parks, attractions, spas and tours at more than 70 destinations that the airline operates to.
Touristly CEO Aaron Sarma said, “Working with AirAsia has been on our minds since our inception. The insight we can gain from AirAsia’s 15 years in the travel industry will help us better understand the Asia Pacific market and quickly adapt to deliver real value to our customers. Our dream was to help travellers to Asia Pacific find amazing things to do in the region and we’re truly excited about this opportunity to be able to share our platform with more people.”
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said, “We see enormous potential in Touristly, which perfectly complements AirAsia’s existing travel offering. Our guests will be able to choose from thousands of activities when purchasing a flight and this brings us a step closer to becoming a truly one-stop digital airline.”
Touristly previously raised an undisclosed pre-Series A round from Tune Labs which saw the platform being integrated with several Tune Group companies.