Careers at Secret Escapes
Secret Escapes negotiates exclusive rates for luxury hand-picked hotels and holidays in the UK and abroad, at up to 70% off the price you'd pay by booking anywhere else.
Secret Escape’s founders needed customers before they could launch a product. Co-founder Alex Saint spotted a gap in the market in 2010, while working at lastminute.com. There was a demand for travel deals in the UK, similar to the demand for discounted luxury travel seen in other markets. By this time, Saint had already acquired years of sales and marketing experience.
He began his career in the sales and marketing department at Unilever. While working in the digital division of the Daily Mail, Saint launched Dealchecker in 2005. The new company would act as an incubator for the launch of Secret Escapes. Around the time that Saint started to work on a platform for mass-market, discounted luxury travel, his friend Tom Valentine came on board. Valentine had already worked at various e-commerce start-ups for over ten years.
Valentine’s experience at eBay and other online marketplaces proved to be valuable. Soon after Saint brought on Valentine, Secret Escapes grew to a point where Dealchecker had to be sold in 2011. Saint and Valentine retain a majority stake in the company. Venture capital has also shown interest in Secret Escapes, with firms such as Atlas becoming minority investors in the company. To date, Secret Escapes has attracted $72.86 million in venture funding. It’s most recent round of funding in July 2015 brought in $60 million from lead investors such as GV and Octopus Ventures.
Secret Escapes has also acquired competitors such as MyCityVenue and JustBook, both of which were acquired in 2014. In 2016, Secret Escapes was nominated for the Europas Conference award for start-ups. Alex Saint remains the CEO and Tom Valentine is the Managing Director. Secret Escapes is based in London and employs around 250 people.
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