Tag: Raised

Two travel giants raised $4 Billion to ride out the pandemic. Only one needed it.

For travelers looking to book a flight or hotel room, Booking.com and Expedia.com look a lot alike. Yet the two fared very differently when the coronavirus pandemic shut down travel, thanks to different strategies behind their websites.

Revenue has plunged at both Booking Holdings Inc. and Expedia Group Inc. this year. Each company moved quickly to raise about $4 billion in the spring to navigate the crisis. Expedia ended the third quarter with double the debt it started the year with, while Booking wound up with a bigger cash cushion.

The cash imbalance illustrates how differently the two rivals operated their online travel services. Expedia often collected cash upfront from hotel travelers, and when those customers canceled, the company had to pay them back. By contrast, Booking didn’t charge upfront as often for hotel stays, so had less to refund when cancellations occurred.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BKNG BOOKING HOLDINGS INC. 1,992.77 -18.20 -0.91%
EXPE EXPEDIA GROUP, INC. 119.90 -4.06 -3.28%


With Covid-19 cases surging, some countries have imposed new restrictions and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised Americans not to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. But executives at Booking and Expedia said earlier this month that they survived the worst of the pandemic and feel optimistic about news of promising vaccine candidates. The travel giants have ample cash reserves and have no plans to change business strategies, they said.

“If you run out of your cash, it’s like if you’re a human being and you run out of blood. You’re dead,” Booking Chief Executive Glenn Fogel said in an interview. Early on in the pandemic, he said, Booking executives started looking at financial models to estimate how much they needed to survive for one or two years with no revenue. Booking sold $4 billion worth of bonds in April.

Though revenue plunged over the summer and the company had to issue some refunds, most of the cash Booking raised in the spring added to its reserves. Booking had $11.2 billion in cash at Sept. 30, about $4 billion more than it did on March 31.

Expedia, which generated about 80% as much revenue as Booking did in 2019, held a smaller cash cushion before the crisis and burned through much of the funds raised in the spring.

Revenue has plunged at both Booking Holdings Inc. and Expedia Group Inc. this year. (Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


Expedia ended the third quarter with about $5.1 billion in cash, roughly what it held in the first quarter — but significantly more debt. Where Booking’s net debt — or total debt minus cash and cash equivalents — has decreased by almost half over that time, Expedia’s net debt rose by 73%.

“We knew that things were bad. We didn’t know how long they’d

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A company that lets anyone rent an RV just raised over $100 million as RV and road travel continues to skyrocket in popularity

a bus driving down a dirt road: Stanislaw Pytel/Reuters

© Stanislaw Pytel/Reuters
Stanislaw Pytel/Reuters

  • RVshare has raised over $100 million from KKR and previous investor Tritium Partners as the RV rental platform sees continuous bookings growth into the fall.
  • RV rental companies and makers have stayed resilient throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
  • According to RVshare’s news release, this investment will allow the peer-to-peer rental platform to tap into KRR’s “network” and “resources,” and grow the company as the industry continues to boom.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

RV rental platform RVshare has raised over $100 million from KKR and previous investor Tritium Partners, according to a news release from RVshare.


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This investment comes at a time in which RV rental companies and makers have stayed resilient amid the coronavirus pandemic that has otherwise tanked the travel industry. 

RVshare is just one example of this general massive industry growth: from early April to May 19, the rental platform saw a 1,000% increase in bookings.

“I think we’re going to see a lot more demand,” RVshare CEO Jon Gray told Business Insider in June. “I think you’re now getting a new group of people buying them, which has people who are substituting it for more luxurious vacations that they typically took.”

Gray’s previous prediction has so far been correct. According to RVshare’s news release in September, the company saw fall bookings increase 123% year-over-year.

According to RVshare, this over $100 million investment will allow the peer-to-peer rental platform to tap into KRR’s “network” and “resources,” and grow the company as the industry continues to boom.

See more: KKR is making a big push into the $30 trillion insurance industry — here’s why private equity is starting to look more and more like Berkshire Hathaway

“I am very proud of our employees and thankful to our customers for helping build RVshare into the market leader it is today – and we are only at the beginning of where our business can go,” Gray said in a statement about the investment. “This financing and the support of KKR’s global platform positions us well to invest in future growth and provide the best experience for our owners and renters.”

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‘Parks and Recreation’ Special Raised $3 Million for Feeding America

NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” special was designed to raise funds for coronavirus relief and viewers can continue donating through May 21.

Critics loved last night’s heartfelt “Parks and Recreation” reunion special, and the one-off episode has enjoyed early success in its mission to raise funds for charity. The special has raised $3 million for Feeding America’s COVID-19 Relief Fund, according to NBC.

Last night’s telecast of “A Parks and Recreation Special,” sponsored by State Farm and Subaru of America, has currently raised $3 million for Feeding America. That statistic includes the $500,000 in matching donations from State Farm, Subaru of America, NBCUniversal and the producers, writers, and cast of “Parks and Recreation.”

Variety reported around noon on Friday that the special had raised $2.8 million. That number has since increased, but it’s just a starting point for the special, which is streaming on YouTube, Peacock, the NBC App, Hulu, and On Demand. People can continue to contribute through May 21 at www.FeedingAmerica.org/ParksandRec.

While the special served as a much-welcome reunion for Pawnee’s beloved characters, it was specifically designed to raise funds for coronavirus relief. Paul Rudd opened the special with a bit that was both in-character and fourth wall-breaking, where he implored viewers to donate to Feeding America. Popups for the charity appeared throughout the episode, which closed with Amy Poehler echoing the importance of donating to Feeding America and other charities involved with coronavirus relief.

Though the circumstances leading to the reunion were grim, the “Parks and Recreation” special was a consistently uplifting and entertaining affair that earned widespread praise from television critics. IndieWire’s Ben Travers chose to eschew a traditional review format, instead shaping his write-up as a recap of the episode’s best moments that deserved extra donations.

“It’s fun. I loved it. Spending 30 minutes visiting these fake characters who I haven’t seen in five years ranked right up there with many of my Zoom calls to friends and family who I haven’t seen in what feels like five years,” Travers said in his episode coverage. “And really, at the end of the day, there’s no point in breaking down the pros and cons of a fundraiser meant to help people by raising much-needed donations for Feeding America and relieving audiences from their worries for 30 minutes. What matters is a) donating — so you better donate, and b) maintaining the joyful feeling brought about by the reunion.”

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