KuaiBangXing, an activities booking startup, focuses on making it easier for Chinese visitors to North America to sample tours and attractions. It sets up guided transportation between outings, and it lets customers pay with China's popular WeChat Pay system.
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 protected] if you have funding news.
The total funding publicized this week was more than $1 million.
>>KuaiBangXing, an activities booking startup based in the Seattle area, has raised an undisclosed angel round of funding. The company has raised more than $1 million to date. Daocin Capital led the round.
KuaiBangXing pieces together itineraries based on tours offered via TripAdvisor-owned online agency Viator and through direct relationships with operators. It then charters Mandarin-speaking drivers who can pick up visitors from the airport and escort them to activities.
KuaiBangXing customizes itineraries filled with tours and activities and sells them as packages to Chinese tourists visiting North America. Relatedly it helps tour operators tap into Chinese online sales by helping to accept more common forms of Chinese payment, such as WeChat Pay — part of the widely used WeChat messaging service.
It also uses the WeChat messaging service for promotion. Founder Jack (Yuguo) Liu said in an interview that the company uses WeChat as a consumer marketing tool and for supplier engagement — not just for WeChat Pay. “WeChat will be the key vehicle adding to OTAs [online travel agencies] to drive scalability and full services from origination to destination.”
KuaiBangXing claims to have served 20,000 customers since it was founded three years ago by Liu, a former product manager at Tencent and Microsoft. It has about 20 employees in three offices in Seattle, Beijing, and Hangzhou.
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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.
Photo credit: The Columbia Icefield is the largest ice field in the Canadian Rocky along the border of British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. It's one of the places you can visit on a tour bookable through the agency KuaiBangXing. KuaiBangXing