ChinaTravelNews, Jimmy Zeng - Augmented reality (AR) tour navigation startup Qiantech announced on June 19 in Beijing that the company has received millions of yuan in its series Pre-A round funding. The round had Guyin Fund as the lead investor and was also backed by Moviebook, Eagles Fund and AC Accelerator.
The company already had a seed round supported by Eagles Fund in August 2015, as well as an angel round in November 2015. It also received a strategic investment from Beijing Moviebook in March 2017.
Xiamen-based Qiantech specializes in AR navigation services for travel companies, exhibition centers, museums, intelligent cities, as well as users in the cultural and creative sectors.
Founder and CEO Ms. Yan Su originally intended to market AR-enabled packaging for traditional souvenirs, but the idea failed to take off.
She then zeroed in on the travel industry, as the industry was in transition to upgrade experiences for experience-oriented customers, in which the emerging AR technology has a great role to play.
She first applied AR technology to promote postcards, and then extended to promote travel attractions and niche stores.
Data service institute Gartner projected that by 2020, nearly one billion consumers worldwide will start shopping via AR tech.
“Users will be more receptive to the ideas when AR-based cultural and creative products are combined with AR tour navigation,” she said. AR-enabled souvenirs can be great extension and complement to the AR navigation model.
The company is now seeing a high proportion of gift-giving demand for its cultural and creative products.
Qiantech designed and produced an AR calendar, and introduced its first AR-based cultural and creative calendar in partnership with the Beijing Palace Museum.
Since then, the company has developed close partnerships with dozens of 4A- or 5A-rated tour attractions and museums.
Ms. Su appears undeterred by the fact that Chinese online giants like Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and Ctrip are entering the AR sector. She sees that these internet titans are developing and leveraging the AR technology directly servicing customers.
Qiantech with its B2B focus will more likely be a partner rather than a competitor to these giants in the vertical travel sector.
Qiantech plans to invest the funds from the latest round in team-building, new product development, market expansion and in-depth application. The company also plans to launch a lab in Dallas, US to research and upgrade their products. (Translated by Jerry)