Travel search giant Skyscanner has received nearly $192 million from new investors.
The move sees the Edinburgh-based online travel site enter a small group of private UK technology companies worth more than $1 billon.
Skyscanner will use the investment to fund acquisitions, expand internationally and fend off takeover offers from larger rivals in the fiercely competitive sector, the Financial Times reported.
The investment reportedly values Skyscanner at about $1.6 billion, doubling its valuation since Sequoia Capital, the Silicon Valley venture capital firm, took a stake in the company in October 2013.
Skyscanner chief executive and co-founder, Gareth Williams, told the newspaper that in addition to pursuing deals, the investment will also provide “a measure of liquidity” to existing shareholders.
He said a number of investors will sell parts of their current shareholdings without fully exiting their positions with the company.
“We’re fundamentally a profitable company with organic growth,” he said. “We’re in a $500 billion sector globally, so wanted to make sure we have the funds to accelerate growth.”
The company said it raised money through “primary and secondary investments”, with a group of five investors taking undisclosed stakes including Yahoo Japan, the Asian online portal that already runs a joint venture with Skyscanner in its home country.
Skyscanner has been looking to international expansion as a path to overcome slowing revenue growth. As well as its Japanese joint venture, it acquired Youbibi, a Chinese travel search company, in 2013.