Trains are offering enormous potential for startups to tap – as of May 2016, China has a fleet of 3,400 trains running 2,100 return journeys for high-speed rail routes and 1,200 return regular train services. The national railway system of China carried more than 2.8 billion passengers in 2016 .
Railway passenger service platform Lvtu Diandian is trying to dip into the rail travel market through in-train consumption, in a similar vein as Meituan and Eleme. This platform lets passengers buy food, drinks, souvenirs and mobile chargers, as well as provide a backend service platform and system for high-speed rail catering service providers.
Jianjun Yang, COO of Lvtu Diandian, considered in-train consumption and mobile payment as their opportunity, and planned to cover train services, hotel and transportation booking, entertainment, social media interaction and other travel services. Through such services, it hopes to develop support systems and big data services for rail service operators in the future.
36kr reported that Lvtu Diandian acquired RMB 20 million of strategic investment from Donggao Holdings, and the fund would be mainly used for R&D, recruitment, operational expenditure and marketing.
So far, Lvtu Diandian has built long-term relationships with several major rail services operators servicing more than 1100 train services. The company currently makes money from marketing and sponsorship, and plans to generate other earnings by charging for customer-targeted booking services and business-oriented system maintenance.