Secret Escapes secures second-round funding and names CEO

Secret Escapes secures second-round funding and names CEO

Free-to-join travel club Secret Escapes has attracted undisclosed second-round funding while confirming Alex Saint as CEO.

Saint helped found the business, which runs flash sales of four and five-star hotels and holidays, while holding the position of CEO at UK price comparison site dealchecker.

He spent six years developing dealchecker before selling it to French group EasyVoyage in January.

Saint had previously launched the Daily Mail’s first online travel proposition ThisIsTravel.

Secret Escapes has attracted 750,000 active users to its website since being founded at the start of the year.

It claims to be doubling turnover every three months and now features deals to more than 500 hotels.

Co-branded partnerships with leading players in the sector, including Teletext and a national newspaper, were confirmed last month.

Managing director Tom Valentine said: “Our additional funding is supporting major new marketing initiatives in 2012, worth £5million, which will support our drive to become market leader in this space.”

He added: “Alex joining as CEO gives a real boost to the business. He’s enormously well respected and joins us at a time when the company is moving onto an entirely new level.

“Consumer response to the site has been phenomenal and we’re now firmly established in the marketplace.

“High end consumers now have a different mindset. They want luxury goods and experiences but they want a deal. Our model taps into the current mood, which is why business is so good.  

“As we develop more partnerships and marketing initiatives it means we can offer our members even better value.”

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