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Nile Guide said it's raised an $8 million Series B round led by Austin Ventures and including new investor Lehman Brothers Venture Partners. Existing investors Draper Richards and KPG Ventures also participated.
The round brings total funding to over $9.5 million for Nile Guide, which launched itself into the online travel market in late April with a service that combines recommendations with trip-planning and booking.
CEO Josh Steinitz told me in an interview that the fund raising climate for his company was good. "We had our choice of lead investors." The valuation was 4x times the last round, Steinitz said, without giving up more specifics.
Nile Guide will use the money to scale its team and product set and invest in distribution partnerships, according to Steinitz.
The company is looking to become an electronic version of a location-specific guidebook that enables travelers to customize and create their trip and take a personalized itinerary with them on their journey.
It's targeting Internet users who want to plan and book their trip with one site, rather than going to separate ones for booking hotels, flights and dinner reservations.
Nile Guide combines the recommendations and knowledge of hand-picked local experts with pricing and other data from sources like Expedia, OpenTable, and TripAdvisor, and many others.
Nile Guide has itineraries for 75 global destinations and plans to launch 5-10 new ones every month. Soon to come are Shanghai, Moscow, Vail and Canada.
The travel category, one of the fastest-growing and most-profitable niches on the Web, has seen its share of acquisitions of late. Most recently, Conde Nast bought SFO Media, which runs the Jaunted and Hotel Chatter. Conde Nast runs its own trip-planning site, Concierge.com.
Also on the founding team besides Steinitz, formerly of Away.com (bought by
Orbitz) is John Monson, who was VP of Marketing at Intuit when it was
building the brand for the financial software Quicken.
Last month, Steinitz told Vator.tv's Ezra Roizen how the company went about raising its initial funding round.
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