Overseas travel guide platform MDD World gets multi-million yuan angel investment
Destination travel platform MDD World received a multi-million yuan angel investment from Shenzhen investors Innovalley and Innovation Angel Funds.
Destination travel platform MDD World announced it recently received a multi-million yuan angel investment from Shenzhen investors Innovalley and Innovation Angel Funds.
MDD World is a private overseas travel guide reservation platform that offers five standard services: driver/ tour guides, walking-tour guides, shuttle service, homestay and local activities.
It uses the O2O + P2P business model to consolidate overseas Chinese living in popular destinations around the world onto its platform. Users can interact with these local guides on the MDD World platform and choose from the individualized services offered.
Many of the local guides registered on the platform are overseas Chinese students, overseas Chinese residents and Chinese-speaking local guides who have extensive local knowledge. They can act as translators, help travelers make itineraries and most of all let users experience the destination like a local.
The service is best suited to smaller sized groups formed of families, friends and partners or independent travelers, and ideal for those who want to take a break from rushed tours for a more leisurely holistic experience.
To allay users’ biggest concerns of safety, MDD World offers assurances in five ways.
1. Identity checks: All MDD World guides must pass foreign identity inspections and the IDs must be verified on their social accounts and by a local manager through an on-site interview.
2. Refund policy: Full refunds will be given for cancellation of professional guide bookings seven days prior to scheduled arrival, or three days prior for bookings with amateur guides (using students, overseas Chinese or foreigner guides).
3. Real-time communication: Users can speak with guides on the website to discuss trip details before making a transaction. After a transaction is confirmed, users can get their guide’s contact details to facilitate direct real-time communication.
4. Payment: Users pay 30% booking fee upfront on the website through Alipay, Wechat Pay or e-banking. The remainder will be paid to their guides upon arrival. The booking fee will be released to the guide only upon users’confirmation of service completion on the platform.
5. Service assurance: MDD World will compensate users for any last-minute cancellations or violation of service terms, and will actively solve problems and handle any claims during users’ trips.
MDD World will use the latest funding for recruitment and marketing. The platform currently has over 400 guides on its register. Ａfter securing its operations in Europe, MDD World will go on to develop a guides network in the Asia Pacific region (including Korea, Japan and Thailand), the USA and Australia.
China Tourism Academy’s statistics show that China’s outbound travelers 114 million trips and spent US$ 140 billion last year. Some 70% of these travelers did not use tour operators and these independent travelers are the dominant force in the outbound market.
Online local travel services like MDD World offers a convenient way to help independent travelers immerse in a local environment. “Traditional tour operators have the problem of compulsory shopping and rushed sightseeing. Yet independent and DIY travelers face the issue of language barrier. Our service is a great solution to this problem,” said MDD World’s founder Jocelyn Peng. (Translation by David)