Blog of the website «TechCrunch» Прогноз погоды

People

John Smith

John Smith, 49

Joined: 28 January 2014

Interests: No data

Jonnathan Coleman

Jonnathan Coleman, 32

Joined: 18 June 2014

About myself: You may say I'm a dreamer

Interests: Snowboarding, Cycling, Beer

Andrey II

Andrey II, 41

Joined: 08 January 2014

Interests: No data

David

David

Joined: 05 August 2014

Interests: No data

David Markham

David Markham, 65

Joined: 13 November 2014

Interests: No data

Michelle Li

Michelle Li, 41

Joined: 13 August 2014

Interests: No data

Max Almenas

Max Almenas, 53

Joined: 10 August 2014

Interests: No data

29Jan

29Jan, 32

Joined: 29 January 2014

Interests: No data

s82 s82

s82 s82, 26

Joined: 16 April 2014

Interests: No data

Wicca

Wicca, 37

Joined: 18 June 2014

Interests: No data

Phebe Paul

Phebe Paul, 27

Joined: 08 September 2014

Interests: No data

Артем Ступаков

Артем Ступаков, 93

Joined: 29 January 2014

About myself: Радуюсь жизни!

Interests: No data

sergei jkovlev

sergei jkovlev, 59

Joined: 03 November 2019

Interests: музыка, кино, автомобили

Алексей Гено

Алексей Гено, 8

Joined: 25 June 2015

About myself: Хай

Interests: Интерес1daasdfasf, http://apple.com

technetonlines

technetonlines

Joined: 24 January 2019

Interests: No data



Main article: Klook

All topics: 9

Travel activities platform Klook raises $225M led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund

09:59 | 9 April

We recently noted that SoftBank’s Vision Fund has stepped up its deal-making in Asia this year, and today it added a new company to its roster: travel services platform Klook.

Hong Kong-based Klook announced today that it has raised a $225 million round led by the Vision Fund with participation from existing investors. The deal — which is described as a “Series D plus” — comes just eight months after Klook announced its $200 million Series D at a valuation of over $1 billion. The company didn’t confirm what its new valuation is, but co-founder and president Eric Gnock Fah (second from right in the photo above) did confirm to TechCrunch that it has increased.

Klook was founded in 2014 and it serves as an activities platform for users who travel overseas. That covers areas like visits to adventure parks, scuba diving, more localized tours or basics such as train travel, food or airport transfers, all of which can be found, paid for and taken using Klook’s platform. Today, Klook claims to host 100,000 activities across over 270 destinations. Its team has grown to over 1,000 staff and it has 20 offices, including sites in Europe and the U.S. as well as, of course, on its home turf in Asia Pacific.

This new injection means that Klook has now raised $425 million to date. Its investors include Sequoia China, Matrix Partners, TCV, OurCrowd, Goldman Sachs, Boyu Capital, Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) among others.

Gnock Fah said that Klook has maintained a dialogue with SoftBank “for a while.” The company only recently raised its Series D so didn’t need the additional capital, but he said that it was moved by SoftBank’s “bigger vision” and its potential role in the SoftBank “ecosystem.”

That, in particular, means opportunities to work with other Vision Fund-backed startups in Asia. Gnock Fah specifically name-checked ride-hailing firm Grab in Southeast Asia and hospitality company OYO, as well as e-commerce companies Coupang in Korea and Tokopedia in Southeast Asia.

“We don’t do point to point or on demand so it’s synergistic on both ends,” he said of potential tie-ins with Grab — which is already working with OYO — while he cited Klook’s ongoing work with Alibaba, which has relationships with Tokopedia and Lazada in Southeast Asia.

(From left to right) David Liu, Chief Product Officer; Bernie Xiong, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder; Anita Ngai, Chief Revenue Officer; Eric Gnock Fah, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder; Ethan Lin, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder (PRNewsfoto/Klook)

The new funds will be used to go after growth in Western markets, Gnock Fah explained, as well as increasing Klook’s efforts in Japan — where it has been ramping up ahead of the Summer Olympics in 2020, and now has the SoftBank connection.

“Now is the time to scale up the fundamentals we’ve built in Western regions,” Gnock Fah said in an interview. “We already have a team on the ground — fundamentals are built — now it is about investing more on the supply-demand side.”

That sounds like increased online advertising spend — I often wonder how handsomely Facebook and Google profit from Vision Fund investments — while in Japan the company is working to cater to more Japanese travelers heading overseas on trips as well as inbound tourism. SoftBank has launched a number of joint ventures with Vision Fund companies to bring their services to the Japanese market — Paytm, WeWork, OYO and Didi Chuxing immediately come to mind — but Gnock Fah said nothing definitive has been decided.

“We’re in a lot of conversations with their team about how to work closely with them,” he said, pointing out that — unlike those aforementioned examples — Klook already has a presence in Japan.

Whenever the Vision Fund has invested in Asia-based companies, I’ve asked the founders how they handle the fund’s links to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of the Saudi regime. Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is widely believed to have ordered the killing, and he runs Public Investment Fund (PIF), the main LP anchor behind the Vision Fund.

Clearly, based on an increase in deals in Asia this year, the link isn’t putting founders off.

Most founders of Vision Fund portfolio startups that TechCrunch spoke to have supplied fairly platitudinous comments or declined to say anything at all — you can read a collection of them here — but Gnock Fah suggested a new (and unique) perspective.

“Because it is a relatively new fund, there’s more spotlight” on the Vision Fund, he offered.

Klook declined to provide a further statement on the Vision Fund and the Khashoggi murder following our interview despite a request from TechCrunch.

“The new capital isn’t about capital per se — our economics are heath — but more for a strategic investment angle,” he said, getting back to more fundamental founder talking points.

The Vision Fund-led cash infusion does mean that Klook, which has been pretty candid about a potential IPO, is putting off plans for a liquidity exit further down the road.

“Right now, there is no fixed timeframe,” Gnock Fah said. “Back in the early days, we had that aspiration… back then, if we wanted to raise $300-400 million [then] IPO was the way to get that.”

“We believe Klook is a leader in taking a mobile-first approach to the travel activities and services industry. The company has seen great success in scaling its business across different geographies and cultures, and we are excited to help them drive further innovation in the global travel industry,” said SoftBank partner Lydia Jett in a statement.

 


0

Travel activities startup KKday lands investment from Alibaba and Line

16:28 | 8 November

Taiwan’s KKday, a startup in the increasingly competitive travel activities space, has pulled in an undisclosed funding round that adds two strategic investors to its business: Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba and Japanese chat app company Line.

KKday was founded in 2015 to help people who travel overseas to find and book activities, ranging from tours to tourist attraction, transportation, museums and more. The company said it offers over 20,000 “unique experiences” in over 500 cities across 80 countries. There is much potential to move into, it seems, with analyst firm Phocuswright predicting that the travel tour and activities market will grow by one-third to reach $183 billion by 2020.

Unlike Hong Kong-based regional rival Klook, which is valued at over $1 billion and has ventured into Europe and the U.S, KKday is focused on Asian markets only.

We last wrote about the startup in January when it raised a $10.5 million round led by Japanese travel operator H.I.S, and this new Series B funding round is led by Alibaba’s Taiwan-based entrepreneur fund and Line Ventures, the VC arm connected to Japan’s leading chat app.

KKday CEO Ming Chen told TechCrunch in an interview that the two will help KKday with its efforts in China and Japan. Alibaba initially made an investment in July, this new deal represents a follow-up and it’ll see more emphasis placed on KKday’s branded store on Alibaba’s Fliggy travel store in China. Interestingly, Alibaba’s fund has also invested in another Taiwan-based activities service, FunNow.

Similarly, KKday will double down on Japan, where Chen said the company has seen “huge growth” thanks in a large part to its relationship with H.I.S. — a 38-year-old firm which has offices in 150 cities and $5.5 billion in annual sales. Chen, who thinks KKday may be Japan’s largest travel activities booking platform already, said Line will introduce a dedicated ‘Travel’ account that ties into the KKday service to allow Line users to book activities and share details with friends without leaving the messaging app.

Chen and KKday CMO Yuki Huang explained that the company is always open to strategic investments where it believes it can find business value.

“We’re very focused on looking for strategic investors not just money,” Huang said.

Others in the round announced today include existing investors CDIB Capital from Hong Kong and Monk’s Hill Ventures in Southeast Asia. That, added to Alibaba in China/Taiwan and H.I.S and Line in Japan, gives KKday a balanced investor base to help its business in those regions, Huang added.

KKday’s main rival is Klook and a Taiwanese competitor is FunDay, but a plethora of companies have sprouted to offer similar services in other parts of the world. Those include Peek in the U.SCulture TripGetYourGuideHeadout and WithLocals. Still, KKday is sticking to its Asia focus for now, according to Chen and Huang.

 


0

New unicorn Klook raises $200M to expand its travel activities platform worldwide

14:57 | 7 August

Klook, a Hong Kong-based startup developing a travel activities platform, has pulled in $200 million in new capital to fuel a major expansion into the U.S. and Europe. A spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that the round values the company at more than $1 billion, although the company didn’t provide an exact figure.

Klook sets out to make booking travel activities as easy as arranging flights and hotels. That could mean visits to adventure parks, scuba diving, more localized tours or basics such as train travel, food or airport transfers, all of which can be found, paid for and taken using Klook’s platform. The company claims to offer more than 50,000 activities and services from 5,000 partners in over 200 destinations across the world. The startup claims its platform is on track to gross $1 billion in bookings — which is not take home revenue — for this year.

That booking milestone is “not just a representation of how Klook has grown but also a representation of this space,” Klook co-founder and COO Eric Gnock Fah told TechCrunch in an interview. “A lot of people thought this was a very niche sector, but it is proving to be a very valuable industry [and] we’re glad to be the leader.”

There’s plenty of evidence to support that. Travel giant Booking.com jumped into the space via an acquisition earlier this year, while TripAdvisor and Airbnb are pushing the activities side of their businesses, too. More direct competition to Klook includes Taiwan’s KKday, which is aligned with Japanese travel giant H.I.S., U.S.-based Peek, Culture Trip, GetYourGuide and Headout.

Klook is the best-funded by some mile, having raised plenty of capital over the past year or so. It closed a $30 million Series B in March 2017 before adding a $60 million Series C the following October, and this new round takes it to nearly $300 million to date.

The new deal sees existing backers Sequoia China, Matrix Partners, and Goldman Sachs return to put in more capital. They’re joined by first-time investors China’s Boyu Capital, Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV) — which has backed Airbnb among others — and Israel’s OurCrowd, while an undisclosed Asian sovereign wealth fund and unnamed family offices also took part.

Four-year-old Klook has been in expansion mode for the past year, opening offices in London and Amsterdam and growing its headcount to 600 staff across 16 offices, predominantly in Asia. That’s up from 400 people across 13 offices last October.

Now, the company is eying the U.S. and a greater share of Europe. That’s not new, per se, Gnock Fah last year told us that North America was in the roadmap, but now the company has confirmed it’ll open a U.S. office before the end of 2018.

“It’s very likely to be East Coast — New York — where we’d start off in the U.S., but I believe we’ll scale up to have teams on the West Coast and probably mid-West, too,” Gnock Fah said. “We also continue to be expanding in Europe and look for the next location to set up more offices.”

This goal push is two-fold. It’s aimed at tapping into the increased demand for global travel from Asian tourists, and particularly those in China, whilst also bringing Western travelers to Asia where they can tap into Klook’s ecosystem of activities and services.

“This round is really gearing up to global expansion,” Gnock Fah said. “There’s still plenty of growth in Asia but now we will be really accelerating our growth into the U.S. and Europe. We’re really entering the global stage [and attracting an investor like] TCV is a testament to what we’re looking to achieve as a global player.”

The Klook COO also added that the company is seeking to open a new R&D center to supplement its existing tech hub that’s located in Shenzhen. The location for that new office is likely to be in Asia, he added, although its efforts will support the business worldwide.

 


0

Battery Ventures leads $75M Series D in travel activities platform GetYourGuide

17:00 | 2 November

 Right after Berlin-based travel activities booking platform GetYourGuide announced its $50 million Series C, one of Europe’s biggest tourist draws, the city of Paris, was rocked by a series of terrorist attacks. The awful events in Paris were clearly not good news for a tourism-dependent business. Read More

 


0

Asian travel platform Klook raises $60M with backing from Goldman Sachs

13:52 | 25 October

Sometimes, for growth stage startups raising money, when it rains it pours.

That’s the case for Klook, a Hong Kong-based travel startup that specializes in helping travelers book trip activities and logistics for when they are overseas.

Klook raised $30 million Series B back in March and, despite admitting that it has barely touched that cash, today it revealed that it has competed a $60 million round that adds Goldman Sachs to its list of backers. That takes it to over $96 million raised to date.

Existing investors Sequoia (lead) and Matrix Partners returned to participate in the Series C round, which Klook co-founder Eric Gnock Fah told TechCrunch will accelerate the firm’s plan to expand outside of Asia.

“We thought Goldman would be great value for our expansion plan [and] it is always good to have a war chest when we’re competing within the travel industry,” he said in an interview.

Three-year-old Klook describes its business as an “in-destination” booking platform — that essentially means that it is a one-stop service for arranging any kind of activity while a traveler is on a trip. That spans fairly mundane items such as travel train or hotel transfer cars, as well as more exotic affairs like diving courses, museum entry, or other general tourist attractions.

“Imagine walking down a road in Phuket, Thailand” Fah said. “Instead of negotiating with an agent, you open the app and you can book directly with the best price.”

Beyond helping make things easier for tourists, Klook also enables tour operators and attraction owners to tap into an audience of travelers with pre-bookings and marketing opportunities. In that way it mirrors China’s booming online-to-offline space — major player Meituan Dianping raised $4 billion just last week — but helping the travel industry and its various verticals to tap into online opportunities.

In March, Klook said it had clocked five million bookings to date and its latest figures are over one million bookings per month. A whopping 70 percent of those are made from mobile devices. While not profitable yet, Fah said the company could break even if it wanted but it is instead going after growth.

Initially focused on opportunities with Asian travelers and destinations in Asia, Klook has scaled to over 300 employees across 13 offices in the continent. When it raised that Series B it was already talking about pushing into the U.S., Europe and Oceania and this new round will allow that to happen faster than originally anticipated. Fah said the startup will open an office in U.S. — most likely New York — and follow suit in other key Western countries in 2018. Those locations will primary focus on business development and marketing.

“We already bring Asian travelers into these [Western] destinations, but there is so much more we can do on the supply side,” Fah said. “That includes working with tourism boards and merchants themselves.”

Interestingly, the Klook founder said demand for the Series C was so hot among existing backers that it had to turn down interest from other parties, including a number of strategic investors from the travel industry. He said the startup will remain “open minded” about working with such investors in the future, but for now it has opted to remain neutral and not financially aligned to specific any particular vendor or brand.

There’s no update on IPO plans since that Series B either. Fah previously said the firm would likely list before 2020 in either its native Hong Kong or the U.S. and this time around he would say only that it is “in the pipeline” for the future.

“To a certain extent, from a legal and compliance angle [related to requirements around the Goldman investment], the company is already an IPO candidate,” he added.

Featured Image: Hamza Butt/Flickr (IMAGE HAS BEEN MODIFIED)

 


0

Despite challenges, startups see a bright future for tech companies in Hong Kong

13:21 | 19 June

Hong Kong is one of the world’s premier financial hubs, but can it be a destination for tech startups? That was the question put to a panel of experts at the TechCrunch China event in Shenzhen today. The answer, largely, was yes but it may need a little time.

“Hong Kong is becoming a global innovation center, but it needs companies to look up to,” Blake Larsen, head of international at logistics on-demand startup Lalamove, told an audience at the event.

Larsen, whose company has raised more than $60 million from investors, argued that all signs point to a change in the mindset and ambition within the country, but it will take time for perceived ‘riskier’ career options to gain mainstream attention. Traditionally, banking and real-estate has been the primary choice of career for fresh graduates, who have pressure on landing a rewarding and established career to satisfy family and society. Added to that, here is no example of a tech company rising up to set an example for others to follow. Yet.

“Hong Kong still lacking a little bit, finance and real estate [have] dominant marketshare in the economy and the younger generation still have that mindset,” Eric Gnock Fah, co-founder of travel tech company Klook, which recently secured a $30 million financing round led by top-tier investor Sequoia

“But we also see increasing interest,” he added. “This summer we had 10 interns keen to learn more about the startup experience.”

A bump in internships is something Larsen has noticed at Lalamove, while Phil Yuen, CTO of Tink Labs, agreed that student interest in startups has never been higher.

“It’s a very good gauge. In the beginning [when Tink Labs started five years ago] there was barely an interest, but this year it has been significant. That’s a good sign of folks getting interested in startups,” Yuen said.

Yet, despite a surge in interesting, Hong Kong doesn’t have the size or scale of other countries, particularly China. With a population of just over seven million people, the panelists were united in agreement that bordering Shenzhen — the so-called hardware capital of the world — is a critical component for showcasing innovation, and helping find the talent need to staff tech startups. As a hub that counts the likes of Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu among its residents, Shenzhen is really a beacon of innovation that can have an important impact on Hong Kong’s tech space.

Right now, though, talent acquisition is an issue for all three panelists and their respective startups. That’s not uncommon for any startup anywhere in the world, but the small population makes it a critical component for Hong Kong to advance as a location for startups, the panelists said.

“I’m sure the government is aware of it, [but it is] not a problem that can be solved in the next few years,” Klook’s Fah said. “The opportunity is being next to Shenzhen.”

“The issue of tech talent is because there’s not much of a market,” Larsen added.

“The biggest opportunity we found is the if you can survive in Hong Kong with all these head winds, the opportunity, if you can get though that, the sky is limit because you built up a tolerance to all these challenges in front of you. Nothing else is really going to intimidate you,” he explained.

Hong Kong isn’t just about the survival of the fittest though. As a cosmopolitan city with links to China, a high level of English and more, the city can act as an ideal incubator to develop ideas and test theories more rapidly than would otherwise be the case.

That’s according to Yuen, who explained that Tink Labs — which puts concierge-style smartphones in hotel rooms — has developed its focus on different sectors of the hospitality industry thanks to Hong Kong’s diversity.

“It’s about finding the right thing Hong Kong can serve you for,” he said. “What is Hong Kong good for and then use that as a stepping stone to a much larger opportunity.”

“For us, there is a very wide variety of different kinds of hotel, different visitors, and that allowed us to improve the product very quickly,” Yuen explained.

While the investor scene has heated up with new VCs arriving, and existing investors in China and beyond finding reasons to keep tabs on promising startups in Hong Kong, there’s no obvious mentor for the next generation of startups and founders.

But they might not need to wait for too long.

Tink Labs is reportedly in talks to raise new funding at a valuation of more than one billion U.S. dollars — potentially making it Hong Kong’s first tech unicorn — although Yuen declined to comment on the speculation. That would make an important milestone for the country, but already the startup is helping broaden the appeal of tech to new audiences. That’s because its CEO, Terence Kwok, is aged just 26.

Unicorn status is one thing, but a tangible exit for a company is something else altogether and that’s where Lalamove could come into the picture.

Larsen previously told TechCrunch that his company could go public in the coming years and, while he said IPO plans take up just “0.1 percent of our time,” he conceded that it would be another important step for the development of Hong Kong’s startup scene.

“It would be a great opportunity to be one of the first, if not the first… and be a symbol for the community to show it is possible to build a global technology company from Hong Kong,” he said.

Hong Kong would almost certainly be where the IPO would happen, Larsen said, adding that the firm might consider a dual-listing on the Nasdaq if it “deserved it.”

 


0

Klook raises $30M for its Asia-focused travel activity platform

16:47 | 2 March

Klook, a service for finding and booking travel activities, has closed a $30 million Series B funding round led by Sequoia China. Existing backers Matrix Partners and Welight Capital, a firm founded by former Tencent executives, also took part.

This new money takes Hong Kong-based Klook to $36.5 million from investors to date. Last October, it closed a $5 million Series A round led by Matrix. The startups’ advisors include the managing director of Agoda North Asia and the former vice chairman of the planning and financial department of the China National Tourism Administration.

Unlike regular travel startups, Klook doesn’t manage flights or hotels, it looks after the rest. It was founded in September 2014 as means to helping the increasing number of Asia-to-Asia travelers find activities and things to do while they are overseas. The company said that today its service includes details of 10,000 attractions, tours and general activities spanning 80 cities across Asia. It also gave out some pertinent business data for the first time. Last year, Klook helped users book five million trips — it clarified that the figure refers to two-way trips. We did ask about revenue and other financial details, but for now the company isn’t revealing those.

Operationally, Klook’s team has expanded to reach 200 staff while it has eight offices across Asia. Those local teams work with attraction and tour operators to source activities directly, thereby avoiding the hefty premium of booking through an agent to offer users a competitive price. It has also recently introduced services — such as local transfer options and WiFi device rental — that let users pick up travel essentials from inside the app. Klook co-founder and COO Eric Gnock Fah told TechCrunch in an interview that it would soon add options for restaurants, shopping and more.

“We’re moving towards being an in-destination service platform,” he said.

Beyond expanding into new verticals, which will presumably super charge monetization, Fah said Klook geographical extensions are planned. Klook plans to spend the year growing its reach to remaining major markets in Asia before looking to other parts of the world.

“Over the past few years we’ve basically nailed Asia’s supply chain,” he explained. “We will launch in Australia soon and then go full speed into Europe and North America.”

Those expansions are still designed to service Asia’s tourists — of which China is the dominant market — so it is activities that are suited to travelers from Asia. Initially, at least. But with the Tokyo Olympics on the horizon in 2020 — and the Winter Olympics taking place in Seoul next year — Fah anticipates that the company will need to cater to Western tourists visiting Asia sooner rather than later.

He’s also optimistic that the boom in inbound visitors to Asia will put Klook’s business in a good position.

“Some of the markets were are in are already reaching break even or profitable, so it’s just a case of getting into more markets,” he said. “Our IPO is always in the planning… the timeline we are looking at definitely before 2020. That’s mainly because of the Tokyo Olympics and next year’s Winter Olympics — you can imagine the travel trends over the next few years.”

A public listing might take place in the U.S. or Hong Kong, Fah offered, although those details are far from ironed out at this point. For one thing, he still anticipates that there “is likely to be at least one more round” of private funding before a move to the public markets. Still, with few startups exits in Asia — China aside — it is refreshing to hear a company committing its ambition to paper.

Featured Image: ipopba/iStock/Getty Images

 


0

Klook, An App For Booking Travel Activities Across Asia, Raises $5M

14:34 | 16 October

Klook, a Hong Kong-based company that sells travel activities across Asia, has announced a $5 million Series A round led by US-Sino investment fund Matrix Partners. China Growth Capital and Francis Leung, chairman of CVC Capital, also took part.

The company was founded in September 2014 with the idea of helping travelers and tourists find things to do across Asia. Klook raised a $1.5 million seed round in April, and co-founder Eric Gnock Fah told TechCrunch that this round was over-subscribed thanks to impressive growth.

Klook currently includes more than 1,200 activities across 24 destinations in Asia, that’s up from around 1,000 earlier this year. The company claims to have grown its userbase — which it counts as the total reach for its website, mobile apps, WeChat and other touch points — from 200,000 to 500,000 over the same period. It didn’t say how many bookings or customers it has, but that it “serves thousands of travelers a day.”

To offer activities at lower prices than traditional travel firms or tour operators, Klook works directly with attraction managers and owners. That way, it doesn’t involve agents or other aggregators who, once adding in their commission, push prices up for travelers.

Fah said that Greater China accounts for around one-third of its user base, with Southeast Asia also around the same figure. While Asia is a popular destination for tourists worldwide, Klook is particularly focused on unlocking the potential of Asian travelers.

“We’re a pan-Asia platform that serves both Asian destinations and Asian travelers,” he explained to TechCrunch in an interview. “The rising middle class in Asia make lots of inter-regional travel.”

This new funding will go towards growing the destinations and activities on the Klook platform, and further developing its technology. The company also plans to begin spending money on marketing, having relied on partnership deals and word-of-mouth for visibility thus far. Part of that focus will see it open an office in Singapore to increase its focus on Southeast Asia. Klook may also expand its physical presence into other local markets further down the line, Fah said.

The startup is also welcoming a pair of new strategy advisors who could help open doors. Wilfred Fan is managing director of Agoda and head of its business operations in North Asia, while Shuren Hu is a former vice chairman of the planning and financial department of the China National Tourism Administration.

If you’re wondering which cities are hot in Asia — Fah said Hong Kong is Klook’s top choice for visitors, followed by Singapore and Bangkok. You can see what they have on offer at Klook.com, or via its Android and iOS apps.

 


0

Klook Lands $1.2M To Help Travelers Find Activities Across Asia

09:43 | 1 June

Klook, a service that helps tourists find interesting activities to do when they travel overseas in Asia, is in the money today, after closing a $1.5 million seed investment round.

The financing is led by Xiaoguang Wu, a senior executive vice president with Chinese internet giant Tencent — he is CEO of the company’s e-commerce division. Another notable investor is Shuren Hu, formerly Vice-Chairman of Strategy and Planning at the China National Tourism Administration, who joined the company as an advisor.

Hong Kong-based Klook was founded in September 2014 with the aim of providing English-speaking and Chinese travel enthusiasts with a platform to discover interesting activities — from diving in Bali, to Disneyland Tokyo, and race track driving in Singapore — which it offers up with up with discounts of up to 50 percent.

Klook doesn’t cover hotel or flight bookings because there’s already a myriad of companies in that space, instead it covers how you spend your time in 21 destinations across Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Nepal and Mauritius. Many of these countries are travel hotspots for Chinese tourists right now, which is no coincidence since Klook is looking to capitalize on the growth of Chinese tourism.

For example, if you want to visit Bangkok — it’s a great place, trust me on that — then you can pull up the city on the Klook platform and get a range of activity ideas: from popular picks, to unique activities, and deals.

  1. Screenshot 2015-06-01 12.52.46

  2. Screenshot 2015-06-01 12.53.09

  3. Screenshot 2015-06-01 12.52.53

 View Slideshow
Previous Next Exit

Klook — which recently released dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android — claims to have over 1,000 “carefully handpicked experiences”. It uses a combination of deal selecting and local teams to bring together discounted tickets and more unique local experiences.

Now that it has mobile apps, Klook said that its customers can browse activities and make bookings after they arrive at their departure. Klook’s mobile app can handle mobile ticketing and entry to destinations, so there’s no need to worry about paper tickets and queues.

“Mobile will be a game changer for this sector,” Klook co-founder Eric Gnock Fah said in a statement. “Although, according to recent data, over 80 percent of travelers research their trip online pre-departure, we believe a significant share of the bookings happen at the destination.”

Curated travel activities is not something new, and it tends to be a tough niche to play in because so many big brands dominate the travel space. It’s a large pie, though, since Asia-based tourists are tipped to become the world’s most prolific (and lucrative) travelers by 2030, with China estimated to become the world’s largest contributor.

Wu, the Tencent executive who also sits on the board eLong — the Chinese travel firm Expedia recently divested from — believes Klook is “well positioned to capture this huge market opportunity.”

Klook, which has a staff of 20, claimed it has clocked over 200,000 bookings since its September 2014 launch.

 


0
All topics: 9

Site search


Last comments

Walmart retreats from its UK Asda business to hone its focus on competing with Amazon
Peter Short
Good luck
Peter Short

Evolve Foundation launches a $100 million fund to find startups working to relieve human suffering
Peter Short
Money will give hope
Peter Short

Boeing will build DARPA’s XS-1 experimental spaceplane
Peter Short
Great
Peter Short

Is a “robot tax” really an “innovation penalty”?
Peter Short
It need to be taxed also any organic substance ie food than is used as a calorie transfer needs tax…
Peter Short

Twitter Is Testing A Dedicated GIF Button On Mobile
Peter Short
Sounds great Facebook got a button a few years ago
Then it disappeared Twitter needs a bottom maybe…
Peter Short

Apple’s Next iPhone Rumored To Debut On September 9th
Peter Short
Looks like a nice cycle of a round year;)
Peter Short

AncestryDNA And Google’s Calico Team Up To Study Genetic Longevity
Peter Short
I'm still fascinated by DNA though I favour pure chemistry what could be
Offered is for future gen…
Peter Short

U.K. Push For Better Broadband For Startups
Verg Matthews
There has to an email option icon to send to the clowns in MTNL ... the govt of India's service pro…
Verg Matthews

CrunchWeek: Apple Makes Music, Oculus Aims For Mainstream, Twitter CEO Shakeup
Peter Short
Noted Google maybe grooming Twitter as a partner in Social Media but with whistle blowing coming to…
Peter Short

CrunchWeek: Apple Makes Music, Oculus Aims For Mainstream, Twitter CEO Shakeup
Peter Short
Noted Google maybe grooming Twitter as a partner in Social Media but with whistle blowing coming to…
Peter Short