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Hotel Reviews Site Oyster’s New Backer: The Travel Channel

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The Travel Channel is investing in, as part of the hotel review site’s latest funding round. The cable channel tells the New York Times that it’s investing in Oyster in order to expand into online travel booking and will be advertising Oyster on its shows. Oyster features original reviews of top hotels in 15 markets and also lets users book rooms directly from its site.

It hasn’t all been a vacation for the startup, however. When Oyster raised a second round of funding led by Bain Capital back in September 2009, it told us it was planning on expanding aggressively and would be the largest travel media outlet in the U.S. by year-end. Three months later, however, Oyster cut a third of its staff, saying it needed to slow down its growth.

Today’s funding, which totals $7.5 million, according to the NYT report, brings the company’s total backing to nearly $18 million.