Online travel agent Egencia raises E6.6m

Credit Lyonnais Asset Management Private Equity and BNP Paribas join Carlyle in a rare dot-com play.

You may be a dot-com company and still raise money in the venture capital market.

Egencia, the online corporate travel agency, has raised E6.6m in a second round of financing. Alongside The Carlyle Group, which had already participated in the company’s first round, Credit Lyonnais Asset Management Private Equity and BNP Paribas Developpement have invested. The round was led by CLAM PE.

Jacques Garaialde and Lori Belcastro of Carlyle, together with Fabien Prévost of CLAM PE will join the Supervisory Board.

Egencia will use the money to invest in its technology infrastructure as well as sales and marketing. Building on its current client base in the Paris region, the firms wants to do business in other major cities in France as well as break into the markets in Spain and Germany.

The company expects the cash to last until it reaches profitability which it says should happen by late 2002.

'Technology innovation allowed new players to enter the European business travel sector.
Now we are entering a highly competitive phase in which operational excellence will become the key criteria for success,' commented Lori Belcastro, who is a director of Carlyle Group.

According to Egencia, during the last 5 months over 100 mid-size companies have decided to manage their entire business travel budget through the company, representing a total annual travel budget of E25m.