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Tech investor Sequoia takes stake in flight search firm Skyscanner

LONDON (Reuters) - Sequoia Capital, a U.S. venture capital firm which has backed groups including Apple and Google, has taken a minority stake in flight search company Skyscanner, valuing the Edinburgh-based business at $800 million.

Sequoia, which has also worked with Cisco and Yahoo, did not give details on the level of funding but said Scottish Equity Partners would remain Skyscanner's largest investor.

Skyscanner, which describes itself as the world's second largest flight search company, was founded in 2003 to offer a free flight search service as well as comparisons for hotels and car hire.

Its mobile app has been downloaded over 25 million times and its web site attracts over 25 million unique users a month.

Michael Moritz, Sequoia's chairman, will join Skyscanner's board.

"Skyscanner is one of the best technology companies ever to come out of Europe and is already a leading global player," he said. "Our job is to help take its current success a step further."

Skyscanner spokesman Nick Freer said the company had secured more than $3.6 billion worth of travel bookings for its airline partners. At the end of December last year it posted $51.8 million of revenues, up 65 percent on the previous year.

Earnings before tax were $18.6 million, a 153 percent increase on the previous year.

Sequoia had previously invested in rival Kayak, which was sold last year to discount travel website Priceline.com.

(Reporting by Luisa Porritt; Editing by Mark Potter)

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