Expedia founder among investors in Mafengwo’s Series C financing round
Mafengwo has received funding to the tune of US$100 million from a number of investors including Expedia’s Rich Barton.
ChinaTravelNews – Leading Chinese travel social site Mafengwo has received funding to the tune of US$100 million from Hillhouse Capital, Coatue, Cobuilder and Qingming Venture Partners in its Series C financing round. China Renaissance is the sole financial advisor for this financing round.
Among the investors in this financial round is Expedia’s founder Rich Barton, who is training his sights on the Chinese travel market and is scouting for the best online travel startups to fund following his massively successful investment in Tripadvisor.
Rich Barton has said China’s online travel market has unlimited promise and is impressed with the excellent performance of Mafengwo’s social community and reviews system. He feels it will promote further development in the Chinese online travel industry with its model of leveraging user-generated content (UGC) and big data to drive independent travel transactions. He also believes the power struggle drama that unfolded in the US online travel industry will inevitably take place in the Chinese industry as well.
After its Series C financing, Mafengwo CEO and cofounder Gang Chen shared his business vision with the media. “Our three core competitive strengths are UGC, big data and an independent travel transaction platform,” he said.
Mafengwo cofounder and COO Gang Lu said independent travel transactions last year exceeded RMB900 million (approx: US$145 million), including revenues from the bookings of 10,000 hotel rooms on average per day and considerable advertising revenue.
Mafengwo focuses on offering independent travel products and currently offers travel planning, Q&A, reviews and information on some 60,000 worldwide destinations. It also leverages big data to improve independent travel products and services in transportation, hotel and local tours.
Mafengwo has amassed 80 million-plus users, 80% are users of its app. Some 60 million of them are active monthly users, and the site generates 16 million reviews per month.(Translation by David)