EXO Travel, a destination management company (DMC) with operations in nine countries in Asia, has appointed Cambon Partners (Paris, San Francisco) to raise capital to accelerate a global expansion and form the world’s largest DMC.
The Bangkok-headquartered company recorded annual revenues of more than USD 150 million in FY19. Although operations have been impacted by COVID they are expected to recover by 2022 and during this period EXO are seeking strategic opportunities to expand beyond Asia.
EXO Travel was founded in Vietnam in 1993 and has grown to become Asia’s leading DMC focused on premium tailor-made and group travel with full-service operations in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan. The company will use funding to continue investing in technology and acquire companies in other geographic locations.
The buildup plan is to integrate compatible companies that complement existing destinations and build the world’s first global DMC. The company’s management are in advanced talks with DMC owners in South Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe.
“We are looking for like-minded, high quality partners ready to seize the post-Covid business opportunity that we anticipate and are prepared for. We see Covid as an opportunity to consolidate, win market share and then grow back better and stronger than before,” said Hamish Keith, CEO of EXO Travel.
The company has developed innovative software that will provide a global booking platform with dynamic itinerary building with instant quotations and booking functionality for tour operators and travel agents and can be easily connected by XML to new acquisitions.
“As well as connecting new partners onto our technology platform, we see significant synergies and potential to increase efficiencies and generate business by cross-selling destinations and sharing key-functions such as sales, marketing and back-office. We are confident that by combining forces to create a global DMC we will be able to realize much more value than the sum of each component part,” he added.
On the acquisition side, EXO Travel will look for companies that appeal to existing customers, as well as bring cross-selling opportunities, the CEO said, pointing to its acquisition of Insight Borneo in Malaysia where it was able to increase revenues by 100% within a year.
The company has received a positive initial response from potential parties and is already in initial talks with various PE funds, including financial and strategic investors. In the next phase, expected to be in five years, the company may consider an IPO to access more capital and to grow in more destinations.