Ostrovok — a Russian hotel booking site — has raised $25 million in funding in a round led by General Catalyst Partners, with participation from Frontier Ventures, Excel Partners, Yuri Milner and others, according to VentureBeat.
The site is a fairly no-frills hotel booking engine, containing a database of more than 135,000 hotels in 200 countries around the world. They claim to be the biggest online hotel network in Russia — which we’re not certain is that impressive — and plan to partner with 25,000 new hotels in the coming months.
Online travel is a hot space in Russia. Some of the biggest deals to emerge from this market involve flight and hotel booking, including Oktogo.ru which raised $11 million earlier this month, and travel agency Onetwotrip, which raised $9 million in October 2012.
As with many emerging markets, we also see that the “innovative ideas” are simply piggybacking off successful American companies. Makes you wonder why Priceline, Travelocity and other travel startups don’t start investing in more foreign offices to conquer emerging markets. Firms like Rocket Internet, especially, capitalize on the big tech companies’ apathy in entering unknown geographies.
Anyway, if you can read Russian and have a high tolerance for (what we assume are) vodka jokes, check out the site and let us know what you think.