KKday boosts its Series C to $95 million as travel resumes – TechCrunch

When travel platform KKday launched the first part of its Series C in September 2020, the travel landscape was very different. Now, as KKday announces that it has added $20 million to the round, bringing its total to $95 million, travel trends are changing, with more people going on domestic or international trips. The funding was led by Asian private equity firm TGVest Capital.

“We plan to use the new funding to double the expansion of our footprint in key markets such as Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea and Asia,” Founder and CEO Ming Chen told TechCrunch. “Additionally, we are preparing for an influx of domestic and international travelers as borders reopen.”

The startup claims that in June 2022, its gross merchandise value surpassed pre-COVID levels, and it also reduced its user acquisition cost to a third of the amount it was spending pre-pandemic. It is generating revenue and exceeding its pre-COVID-19 revenue.

A portion of the funds will be used for hiring across all departments, including software engineers, research and development, business development and operations, and marketing. The capital will also be used to develop technology products for online travel agencies (OTAs) and merchants who offer activities and services on KKday’s platform. KKday says its SaaS solution for merchants to manage reservations and inventory, called Rezio, is now used by 1,600 merchants globally and reaches 2.7 million travelers.

Rezio works with online travel companies like Viator to help their merchants grow. The service allows them to manage bookings across multiple channels, like Viator and Tripadvisor.

During the pandemic, KKday’s main growth driver has been domestic travel in markets including Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan and Southeast Asia. It recently acquired Activity Japan, an online tours and activities travel agency, and expects to see more business in Japan. KKday is also anticipating increased activity in markets like Korea and Singapore, where international travel is picking up.

KKday also plans to relaunch its own “curated experiences,” or local tours, as borders open up. Chen said several trends he has seen as travel restrictions were lifted include an increase in domestic and international travel. There are also more “digital travellers,” or people who use online tools like KKday to plan their itineraries and cut costs, and the demand for curated tours like the ones KKday will be offering.

“Since our last conversation and over the past 12 months, more markets have opened up and domestic travel has been a strong driver of our growth. While staycations remain popular, there was also a growing appetite for local tours, activities and national attractions,” Chen said. “We have added 200,000 additional experiences and activities across Asia-Pacific during COVID-19. In Japan alone, we added 35,000 new activities.

In a prepared statement, TGVest Capital Managing Director Claire Lai said: “Traveller demand is rebounding at a rapid pace as borders reopen. Ming and his team’s relentless focus on innovation and long-term value for his ecosystem of travel operators, activity providers and users has proven paramount in weathering the COVID-19 wave. .

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