Overseas destination startup Haiwan gets Series B financing to start group buy abroad
Haiwan’s transactions are much larger compared with domestic groupbuy transactions as consumers are not as price conscious when purchasing abroad.
ChinaTravelNews – Overseas destination specialist O2O Haiwan recently received investments for its Series B financing round, with Tiantu Capital as lead investor and Sequoia Capital, Source Code Capital and Zhiping Capital also participating.
Haiwan to become an overseas Meituan
Previously, Haiwan had received US$5 million for its Series A financing round led by Sequoia Capital that also included Source Code Capital. Going online in April 2014, Haiwan sets itself apart from a typical online tourism ecommerce by not selling air tickets, hotels and tour package products like a traditional tour agency would. Instead, it focuses on helping Chinese enjoy quality dining, amusement and entertainment in overseas destination.
Haiwan's director and CEO Runhua Sun said: “Haiwan’s has a footprint in over 40 countries around the world and our procurement staff visit each local activity themselves and directly approach local suppliers for partnerships to ensure Chinese travelers can enjoy the most authentic and unique experiences for the best price.”
Group buy sites like Meituan and ratings site Dianping access China’s local O2O consumer market that has higher consumption frequency than a similar service for overseas markets that has lower consumption frequency by Chinese independent travelers. That leads to the question: could Haiwan adopt the group buy model for overseas consumption? Mr. Sun said:
“Domestic groupbuy consumers transactions are typically under RMB100 whereas Haiwan’s transactions are in hundreds or thousands of yuan. With the lower frequency of overseas travel, consumers are not as price conscious when purchasing abroad and instead will have higher demands for product quality. We see this as a huge opportunity for us, as there aren’t any other OTAs offering this service at the moment.”
An inventory of over 100,000 offers
Mr. Sun said Haiwan has been concentrating on establishing local product supply chains for overseas destinations over the last year and has now formed a global purchasing network with an inventory of over 10,000 stock keeping units (SKU). Meanwhile, sales on its app and website are picking up speed to reach a scale of millions of transactions per month with mobile sales making up 30% of total sales.
Mr. Sun said Haiwan’s next move after its latest financing round is mainly to continue focusing on securing resources while also improving the quality of its staff via recruitment and training. It also plans to allocate RMB200 million of its funds at the end of the year to open 20 branches in its major tourism destinations and increase its SKU volume to over 100,000.(Translation by David)