Chinese Travel Search Qunar Follows $15mn Series B Financing for Taxi-hailing App GrabTaxi
Chinese travel search Qunar (NYSE:QUNR) announced today it followed the $15 million Series B financing for GrabTaxi, a Singapore-based taxi-calling app targeting at Southeast Asia market.
The round is led by GGV Capital with participation from existing investor Vertex Venture Holdings, which just invested an undisclosed amount of Series A financing a few months earlier.
GrabTaxi is now operating in 15 cities across Southeast Asian countries like Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia, with more than 20,000 taxi driver users. The Series B round will be used to fuel GrabTaxi’s growth into new cities in the region, as well as driver loyalty and retention programs.
Although the company is competing with other taxi-booking service like Rocket Internet’s EasyTaxi, Uber, TaxiMonger and MoobiTaxi in Southeast Asia market, the company said it will continue to focus on this region in the near future, because Southeast Asia, which has around 600 million people, is huge enough to support several taxi-calling startups.
GrabTaxi recently rolled out GrabCar, a high-tier service similar to Uber’s.
Qunar’s investment in foreign taxi-booking app may target to complement its business ecosystem in the burgeoning Southeast Asian market. According to data released by the Ministry of Commerce, the number of Chinese travelers to ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries surged by 2.6 times in the past decade to reach 7.32 million by 2012. This figure is expected to reach 14 million by 2016, according to the company.
Kuaidi Dache, a leading Chinese taxi-booking app, also announced its exploration into Southeast Asian market, but none of Chinese taxi-calling services have established their foothold in overseas market as of present.
Ctrip, a major rival of Qunar, also partnered up with taxi-booking services like Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache, but their cooperation only applies to domestic market.
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