Anywayanyday.com, a popular Russian online retailer of air tickets, has mandated Merrill Lynch to secure a $40 million round of financing, the Russian business daily Kommersant reported yesterday, citing unnamed sources.
The new round of financing will allow Anywayanyday to accelerate its development, particularly in foreign markets. The site, which offers an interface in English and German as well as in Russian, has opened a representative office in Germany, Kommersant notes.
The company’s decision to raise new funds was unveiled earlier this year by its founder, Kirill Podolsky, who holds 60% of the shares. “[The financing round] may be a structured transaction, such as a private placement [backed by] a loan,” he said in an exchange with Reuters in July.
Podolsky also said he is considering going public, not earlier than 2014, on the London or New York stock exchanges. But earlier statements from the company mentioned the Warsaw or Moscow exchanges as alternatives.
With sales amounting to $192 million in 2011, the company stands as the sixth largest Russian online retailer, according to EWDN’s E-Commerce ranking. Its valuation reaches several hundred million dollars, according to Kommersant’s sources.
Online sales of air tickets could reach $3 billion this year, up 70% from 2011, according to Phenomenon Ventures, a Russian venture fund that has just injected $9 million in Onetwotrip.com, a competitor of Anywayanyday.
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