Hong Kong-based travel booking startup Klook will be downsizing its 2000-strong workforce by an anticipated 10-20% – either via layoffs or temporary leave – across the company’s 29 locations worldwide, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong. The company also plans to implement a company-wide reduced workweek to help weather the COVID-19 storm.
Since February, co-founders Ethan Lin, Bernie Xiong and Eric Gnock Fah have pledged to forego their salaries “until the end of the crisis,” with their leadership team also taking voluntary pay cuts. Furloughed employees will continue to receive healthcare coverage and access to fringe benefits including Klook’s Employee Assistance Program.
Founded in 2014, Klook’s explosion onto the global stage as one of the most searched travel activities and service booking platforms on Google made it an emblem of startup success in the Asia Pacific. Just last year, they raised USD 225 million in Series D+ funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund, bringing the firm’s total Series D funding to a record USD 425 million, which they had envisioned using to expand into Australia, Europe and the U.S. Klook also entered into global strategic partnerships with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, and Rail Europe.