China's travel startup scene is less well covered in Western media due to the language barrier, but is nonetheless just as vibrant as the West's.
Travel Startup Funding This Week
Each week we round up travel startups that have recently received or announced funding. Please email Senior Travel Tech Editor Sean O’Neill at email@example.com if you have funding news.
We report on several startup fundings in China that unfortunately did not disclose the funding amounts. Earlier this week, however, we noted that Hong Kong-based Klook, an activities booking startup, had raised $200 million.
>>Islands, a startup that offers marketing and soft-branding services for independent hotels primarily in China, has received a Pre-B Series round of financing.
Vision Capital, a private equity firm, led the undisclosed round. The company has previously raised more than $3 million in funding from investors including Banyan Capital, Plum Ventures, Zhen Fund, and China Growth Capital.
Opened for business a year ago, Islands offers a light version of a franchise model for independent hotels, helping them market their properties under its brand name on online platforms such as Ctrip and Meituan and by providing a property management system and other tools for smoother operations.
CEO Yizhe Gan claims the company is currently signing up about 100 hotels a month to its subscription services. Unlike the typical Western franchise model that requires fees and a cut of operating income, Island charges for a share of the profit.
>>HTrip, a provider of operations software for hotels primarily in China, has raised an undisclosed Pre-A round of financing worth more than $1 million.
Jiuding led the round.
The hotel tech company digitizes services that hotels use for their operations. It also has a business travel service platform, CT Life, that aims to help business travelers find properties that meet their needs.
Have an aviation-themed startup? Take it to the next level by participating in the Air Pitch Startup Competition 2018.
Skift Cheat Sheet:
We define a startup as a company formed to test and build a repeatable and scalable business model. Few companies meet that definition. The rare ones that do often attract venture capital. Their funding rounds come in waves.
Seed capital is money used to start a business, often led by angel investors and friends or family.
Series A financing is typically drawn from venture capitalists. The round aims to help a startup’s founders make sure that their product is something that customers truly want to buy.
Series B financing is mainly about venture capitalist firms helping a company grow faster, or scale up. These fundraising rounds can assist with recruiting skilled workers and developing cost-effective marketing.
Series C financing is ordinarily about helping a company expand, such as through acquisitions. In addition to VCs, hedge funds, investment banks, and private equity firms often participate.
Series D, E and beyond These mainly mature businesses and the funding round may help a company prepare to go public or be acquired. A variety of types of private investors might participate.
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Photo Credit: An image of a customer at a Beijing Starbucks cafe using a tool introduced this year from Concur, a provider of travel, expense and invoice management solutions, to generate an electronic fapiao (a Chinese tax receipt) solution that syncs seamlessly into China’s WeChat messaging platform. Chinese online travel innovation is growing at a fast pace. Concur