Beijing-based service robot startup Yunji Technology yesterday announced it had received an undisclosed sum from Ctrip to jointly push forward smart hotel services and bring more benefits to customers. The investment indicates that Yunji Technology intends to expand its intelligent service to the hospitality industry and tap more growth opportunities.
Yunji Technology claims to be a leading enterprise in the service robot sector. It specializes in the development of artificial intelligence and offers robots services to hotels as a starting point.
Its intelligent commercial service robot “Run" has serviced more than 1.3 million users through over 500 hotels in 100 cities across 33 provinces in China. It has also extended to overseas, including Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and North America.
The partnership with Yunji Technology marks Ctrip’s latest move in the smart hotel field, following the launch of Ctrip’s own smart hotel solution program "EASY Stay" in March last year.
Ray Chen, Ctrip’s hotel business unit CEO, said "EASY Stay" could boost check-in and check-out efficiency by 30%. When checking in and checking out, the self-service machine of the solution is able to automatically verify identity, connect guests’ identity with their booking information and then issue room keys once the guests scan their ID cards on the device. The self-service machine is connected to a hotel’s PMS systems, enabling booking orders from Ctrip and other platforms to access the check-in procedure. Ctrip will further develop its leading-edge artificial intelligence and hardware to better meet users’ need through broader cooperation with Yunji Technology.
“Ctrip users can quickly check in by face recognition, smart rooms and intelligent lock systems and thus enjoy personalized services and convenience in the journey,” said James Liang, Ctrip’s co-founder and executive chairman of the board.
Ctrip endeavors to closely match ever-changing customer needs with the “ABC” of technology – Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Cloud Computing.
China’s hospitality industry is enjoying unprecedented opportunities as market players have been further developing inbound and outbound travel businesses. Ctrip has been integrating new technologies such as artificial intelligence into travel and hotel services to enhance user experience.
The latest collaboration between Ctrip and Yunji Technology will help traditional hotels go high-tech and create a new model of smart hotels, which will better meet the needs of modern customers and enhance hotels’ operational efficiency.
Tao Zhi, co-founder and CEO of Yunji Technology, also indicated that the company would announce a new round of financing in the near future. The company would proactively explore the hospitality industry and update its products and services to promote the development of the sector with the support of Ctrip.
Yunji Technology received angel investment in August 2014, and then its Series A financing round in September 2015, both led by iFLY TEK. In November 2017, Yunji Technology raised tens of millions of dollars from Tencent Investment, HNA Tourism Ventures, iFLY TEK and LanTing Capital in its A round of funding.