Dreamlines earmarks latest raise for global growth and new markets

Dreamlines, the German business which claims to be the largest online cruise booking site in Europe, has pocketed a further €14 million from its existing investors.

Its last reported raise was €20 million in 2014, bringing the total raised so far to around €44. Its Series A round was $2.2 million in 2012.

The investors are  Holtzbrinck Ventures, Hasso Plattner Ventures, Dimaventures, Altpoint Capital, Target Ventures and Truventuro.

The business has dedicated sites serving Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Brazil and Australia. It has access to 30,000 products from sixty different cruise lines but also builds packages with cruise, tours, excursions and flights. It recently signed a deal with Aeroflot to power the cruise channel on the Russian flag carrier’s brand dotcom site.

The cash raised will enable Dreamlines to “further consolidate its position as the uncontested market leader in Germany and gain a greater market share here, while also securing continued global growth,” according to Dr. Christian Saller, general partner at Holtzbrinck.

Meanwhile, managing director  Felix Schneider talked about “opening up new markets for [its] services”.

Dreamlines also claims that its operations in seven key cruise markets give it “a broader global base” that its rivals.

Its funding comes a few days after one of those rivals — cruise.co.uk – announced that Bridgepoint Capital bought a majority stake for £52 million. Cruise.co.uk also operates in Australia while its MD Seamus Conlon said it too is looking to expand internationally.

While Dreamlines and cruise.co.uk talk in terms of being online booking portals, both have well-staffed call centres which help customers through the shopping and booking process on the phone. Statistics about the scale of pure online cruise bookings are thin on the ground, while attempts by the cruise lines themselves to drive direct bookings has proved unpopular with the travel agent community.

Nonetheless, if that stats are to believed, cruise is growing on a global scale, with Asia in particular looking strong. The extent and speed with which this growth will transition into online bookings is unclear, although clearly there are some investors betting big on this offline-to-online shift.

Related reading from Tnooz:
Dreamlines cruise site buys scale in Australia (October 2014)
Dreamlines sails into new capital round with ex-Kayak executive leading (March 2014)

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