Alibaba and LINE invest in Taiwan-based travel agency

Online travel agency KKday has attracted the attention of Japanese and Chinese internet giants. Its social media profile fits in with their expansion plans.

Taiwan-based online travel agency KKday completed a follow-on Series B fundraising on Thursday. It was led by Japanese and Chinese internet giants LINE Ventures and the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund. Existing investors CDIB Capital and Monk’s Hill Ventures also joined this follow-on investment.

KKday did not reveal the amount that it had raised, but said that it is “enough” for corporate development.

CEO Chen Mingming said that proceeds this time will be used to improve app user experiences for its online travel services. It is working with LINE travel, a soon-to-be-released app developed by LINE. The Japanese market has always been a focus for KKday as it remains a hot destination for Taiwan and Hong Kong travelers. 

Chen said the company intends to develop its customized travel business in Japan, South Korea, and the Chinese mainland. The company is also aiming to develop its travel business in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the US.

Founded in 2015, KKDay completed its Series A financing in 2016 with $11.5 million from Monk’s Hill Ventures, Mindworks Venture, Cathay Venture, Substance Capital and startup accelerator AppWorks. Earlier this year, it raised $10.5 million Series B funding from Japanese tourism company H.I.S. and Hong Kong-based MindWorks Ventures.

Internet giants are playing close attention to the travel industry, especially to its social media features. LINE Ventures said that KKDay is changing people’s travel preference in Asia; from group travel to customized travel plans.

Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, on the other hand, sees KKDay’s potential in the overseas market. It is a trend that chimes with Alibaba’s own expansion.

Almost every merchant uses social media to promote its products and the collaboration of KKDay and LINE fits into this trend. In Asia, people sell clothes, cosmetic products, and even stocks via social media. Now travel agencies want a piece of the action. KKday has made it clear that more global collaboration with LINE is in the pipeline.

CEO Chen Ming said that KKDay will raise more funds in the future when necessary. He remains optimistic about the customized travel market.

Travelers want more experiences on their vacations these days, especially those from mature markets in Hong Kong and Taiwan. They are already familiar with DIY travel and they want a more customized service on hotels, flights, and services. KKday can provide all of that. It is the future of travel.

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