Industry Archives: Consumer Services


International VC consortium injects $7 million into Russian package tour online reseller

East-West Digital News
On Thursday Russia’s hot online travel market saw its third major venture funding operation in one month as OnlineTours, a reseller of package tours, closed a $7 million Series B round. The funds were brought in by a VC consortium that includes international funds, Global Founders Capital and Holtzbrinck Ventures as well as Russia’s InVenture Partners.
The latter, a $100 millon fund launched in 2012, already invested $2 million in OnlineTours in a Series A round that took place a few months after the startup’s inception that same year.
The new capital injection is meant to increase the market share of OnlineTours and further develop its technology platform. The startup claims that its ambition is “to build the leading online travel service in Russia.”
“Not only have we received a substantial cash infusion, but now we can also tap into the deep travel experience of our investors,” stated OnlineTours CEO Matvey German, citing Holtzbrinck Ventures – whose partner Christian Saller previously managed KAYAK’s activities in Europe – as well as and Global Founders Capital.
Hot VCs on a hot market
The market in Russia for package tours was estimated last year at $15 billion – with just 2% generated online.
According to the government agency Rostourism, Russians travelled abroad 47.8 million times in 2012, including 15 million times for touristic purposes, with Egypt and Turkey being the most popular destinations. The average price for package tours reached $1,800-$2,000.
But competition is fierce. Not only does OnlineTours compete with offline travel agencies, which are ubiquitous in Russia, but online tour offers have also developed dramatically over the past few years.
Among OnlineTours’ online competitors is, a startup launched in 2011 that received capital injections of $5 million last year and $7 millon earlier this month.
Last month, in another segment,, a major online hotel reservation service, secured $12 million from Russian investors, coming in addition to the $38 million it had raised in previous years.
This story first appeared in East-West Digital News, a leading online resource on Russian digital industries.

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Foodpanda Acquires Russian Competitor Delivery Club

TechCrunch June 18, 2014
Rocket Internet-incubated foodpanda has acquired Delivery Club in a move it says will make the combined companies Russia’s leading food delivery service with over 2,500 restaurants. The value of the deal was undisclosed. Delivery Club, which will continue operating under its own brand, was founded in 2009, shortly before foodpanda, and is available in 18 Russian cities.

Foodpanda recently said that it plans to reach 50 countries by 2015, which means it has five more countries to expand into by the end of this year. Ralf Wenzel, foodpanda’s global managing director, said the company not only plans to grow by launching in new markets, but also by deepening its reach in existing ones. After Russia, foodpanda plans to focus on growing in Southeast Asian countries.

“We want to consolidate the market, grow ourselves, and keep focusing on building operational capabilities,” says Wenzel. Read More

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Birchbox banks $60 million

Fortune April 21, 2014
Two years ago, “stuff in a box” was all the rage among startups. The young and funded were hawking subscription memberships for coffee, razors, jewelry, sex toys, shoes, and booze. All of it seemed very faddish, and indeed, many of these startups have petered out. Those that have thrived have done so with a unique value proposition that can’t be matched by brick-and-mortar retailers, and more importantly, by Amazon.

One such company is Birchbox. The New York-based startup sells curated monthly boxes of beauty samples for $10 each, while offering full-sized versions of the products on its e-commerce site. In just 3.5 years, Birchbox has grown to 800,000 subscribers, which equates to $96 million in annual sales. Add to that the fact that 30% of the company’s revenue comes from sales of full-sized products, and Birchbox is making at least $125 million per year. (The company also makes money selling men’s boxes, but it hasn’t released subscriber numbers.) Birchbox has swelled to 250 employees and worked with 800 brands. All of that, with just $12 million in venture funding.

“We know what it means to grow quickly and not have to raise a lot of money, which isn’t always celebrated in our culture, but we have celebrated it here,” says Katia Beauchamp, co-CEO and co-founder of Birchbox.
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ServiceMaster Global files for IPO of about $100 mln

March 24 (Reuters) – ServiceMaster Global Holdings Inc, which owns Terminix pest control, filed with U.S. regulators on Monday to raise about $100 million in an initial public offering of common stock. The company, controlled by private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, provides residential and commercial services including lawn care, termite and pest control and home warranties.

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, which holds about 66 percent stake in ServiceMaster, took the company private in a $4.7 billion deal, excluding debt, in July 2007. ServiceMaster’s businesses include American Home Shield warranties and the Merry Maids cleaning service, as well as drain cleaning and furniture repair operations.

The Memphis, Tennessee-based company told the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission in a preliminary prospectus that JPMorgan, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were underwriting the IPO. The company said it intends to list its common stock under the symbol “SERV” but did not specify the exchange. The filing did not reveal how many shares the company planned to sell or their expected price.

ServiceMaster, founded in 1929, competes with ABM Industries Inc’s facility services, and Rollins Inc’s Orkin pest-control business, among others. Net proceeds from the offering would be used to redeem its notes, the company said in a regulatory filing.

The company’s net loss from continuing operations narrowed to $505.67 million for 2013 from $713.74 million a year earlier. Revenue fell less than 1 percent to $3.19 billion. The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.

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With Eye On Growth, Just Eat Buys Meal2Go

TechCrunch March 4, 2013
Online fast food ordering startup Just Eat has acquired Meal2Go, a maker of electronic point of sale technology tailored to the restaurant sector, in a move aimed at growing its business by offering its takeaway partners additional services. Continue Reading →

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Goldman Sachs and VTB Capital Could Buy Russian Fitness Group

The Moscow Times
The American finance giant Goldman Sachs and VTB Capital could buy into Russian Fitness Group, one of the leaders on the domestic market of fitness services.

The group, which owns the fitness club networks World Class and FizKult, may see one of its shareholders, Alfa Capital Partners, sell its stake to British company ELQ Investors IV, a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs, and Cyprus-registered company Chacoo Nevsky Property Finance, which has a sole beneficiary — VTB Capital, Kommersant reported Thursday.

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Online consumer goods testing platform raises $1 million from Moscow business angels

East-West Digital News
Product Test, a project aimed at testing and giving expert evaluations of consumer products, has announced that it received approximately $1 million from Moscow serial angel investor Igor Ryabenkiy and four other business angels. Continue Reading →

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TDR Capital buys David Lloyd Leisure for undisclosed sum

Reuters LONDON, Sept 5
David Lloyd Leisure (DLL), one of Britain’s biggest health club chains, has agreed a takeover deal with private equity group TDR Capital worth more than 700 million pounds ($1.09 billion). Continue Reading →

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99 Wuxian Seeks Australian IPO

The Wall Street Journal
With the market for Chinese initial public offerings shut since last November, 99 Wuxian Ltd. is seeking up to 20 million Australian dollars (US$18.5 million) in an Australian IPO Continue Reading →

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Haitong to Launch Buyout Funds

The Wall Street Journal 4 June 2013
SHANGHAI—Haitong Securities Co.’s private-equity arm plans to launch its first yuan- and dollar-denominated funds focused on buyouts, aiming to raise more than $526 million Continue Reading →

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