Hospitality crowdfunding platform Kaistart raises $29 million C round financing
Yunfeng Capital, a Chinese private equity firm co-founded by Alibaba’s chief Jack Ma, has led a $29 million round in Kaistart, a Chinese restaurant and hospitality crowdfunding platform.
The round values the startup, less than two years old, at USD 200 million post-money, according to a company announcement. The valuation is supported by the company’s claim that it has over 20 million cumulative registered users.
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Hangzhou city, Kaistart is a crowdfunding platform specifically designed for the hospitality sector in China, helping hotel, restaurant and tourism projects raise financing.
Besides project financing, the company says its platform also offers services such as marketing, branding, training and other tools for operational improvement.
For instance, Kaistart will help a hotel project raise money via its crowdfunding platform, while also helping the project identify the best location for the hotel, train its staff and build a following among its crowdfunding backers. To generate hotel traffic, Kaistart offers investors crowdfunding project coupons, benefits, and discounts if they stay at the hotel.
Kaistart says most of its revenue currently comes from fees charged on its crowdfunding platform but hopes to increase revenue from its services and other products.
In June 2016, Kaistart raised an RMB100 million (USD 14 million) series B round led by Beijing Kunlun Tech Co. Four months prior, it completed a series A+ round worth tens of millions of RMB from Matrix Partners and Vision Plus Capital.
In 2015, it received an RMB33 million (USD 5 million) series A round from Meridian Capital and Tipping Point Capital.
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