UK-based HalalBooking travel firm raises $2.5 mln in new funding

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UK-based HalalBooking.com, which offers halal-friendly travel services, said on Thursday that it has raised $2.5 million in a pre-series A funding round with a valuation of $52.5 million.

The holiday booking platform said the investment came from four investors, led by Azar Hurbanov, a co-founder of New York-based FSAstore.com, a leading wellness e-commerce website.

“This investment will allow us to accelerate our growth rate for 2020 beyond 100 percent and will be spent mostly on new customer acquisition activities,” said Elnur Seyidli, chief executive officer of HalalBooking. “We plan to open a larger $20-25 million Series B round at a higher valuation at the end of 2020 and hope to achieve our $1 billion unicorn goal by 2024,” he added.

The company said it plans to launch new halal-friendly search options in 2020 to help its users and affiliated global partners to filter and their experiences.

By 2020-end, the company expects to reach $30 million in bookings after recently expanding its product offering and increasing its hotel and villa accommodations in Europe, including London, Paris, Spain and Bosnia.

HalalBooking has over 300,000 registered users from around 84 different countries. It was launched by a group of British and German Muslims in 2014 to tap into the halal economy sector, for which there is an appetite for in the UK and across Europe due to a fast-growing Muslim population.

The global market for Halal-friendly travel is expected to reach $274 billion by 2024.

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