Following its Series A raise of USD 7 million last December, Hong Kong-based TravelFlan, a travel and lifestyle AI-digital solution startup, is in the midst of raising an additional USD 12 million to expand across Asia.
TravelFlan has acquired an international travel agency in Beijing, called Beijing JueXingZiZai International Travels Ltd, and it is in talks to buy an OTA in South Korea.
“The target OTA in Korea was originally hotel-product focused in Korea market only. Their business has dropped quite a bit since the breakout, we’ve been helping them to explore other distribution channels, new partnerships outside Korea and create different bundled products (hotel+local products+restaurants) for incremental revenue. Other than travel, we are also looking into other potential acquisitions like eCom and logistic partners.”
TravelFlan started as an OTA but learned the hard way how difficult that was in China, and transitioned to a B2B2C model in 2018. “We were selling attraction tickets but found it so competitive. Everybody was trying to sell but nobody was offering a service. Customers spent a lot of time to prepare and research, yet products were not personalized.
“We saw that companies needed that more than anything else and so we started developing our own AI tech and big data,” said Zhao.
In 2019, 55% of its customers were from China and 35% from South Korea. It is expecting increases from South Korea. This year, it is working with Samsung for its smart fridges to become e-commerce-enabled.
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