Sequoia Capital investment values Skyscanner at $800m

Aircraft Skyscanner's travel search business has seen rapid growth over the past four years

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Silicon Valley venture capital group Sequoia Capital has taken a stake in travel search specialist Skyscanner in a deal which values the business at $800m (£493m).

Sequoia did not disclose the size of the investment but said it was one of the largest it had made in any company.

Venture capital firm Scottish Equity Partners remains Edinburgh-based Skyscanner's largest investor.

Sequoia's move comes at a time of rapid growth by the travel search engine.

Skyscanner has grown by more than 100% year-on-year for the past four years.

It more than doubled its staff last year and announced in the summer it would double the number again to 500 over the next year.

Skyscanner has said its flight search app has been downloaded more than 25 million times, and its website attracts more than 25 million unique users a month.

Sequoia's investment will see its chairman Sir Michael Moritz join Skyscanner's board of directors.

Start Quote

Skyscanner is one of the best technology companies ever to come out of Europe and is already a leading global player”

End Quote Sir Michael Moritz Sequoia Capital chairman

Sir Michael said: "Much remains to be done to make mobile and online travel easier for consumers from Accra to Zagreb and Skyscanner is paving these paths.

"Skyscanner's success in helping people find the world's most accurate flight information is just the beginning of what's possible.

"Skyscanner is one of the best technology companies ever to come out of Europe and is already a leading global player.

"Our job is to help take its current success a step further."

Last month, Skyscanner announced it was taking its hotel search service in-house after acquiring Barcelona-based business Fogg for an undisclosed sum.

It plans to integrate Fogg's internet hotel search into its site by the end of the year.

Skyscanner, which runs offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Singapore, Beijing and Miami, said the move was "a significant step" in its expansion plans.

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