Asia’s travel-experience platform KKday has raised USD 10.5 million in a funding round led by Japanese travel industry leader H.I.S. with participation from existing investor MindWorks Ventures. The alliance and funding are expected to help KKday expand its regional presence and further improve its variety of affordable product offerings to travelers.
Taiwan-based KKday is one of Asia’s largest travel-experience e-commerce platforms, curating more than 10,000 unique experiences from over 500 cities and 80 countries with over 4 million unique visitors and serves a few hundred thousand travelers each month.
Research by Phocuswright projects that the travel tours and activities industry will reach USD 183 billion by 2020 from USD 135 billion in 2016. With such a large market, KKday is applying big data analytics to drive business decisions and to refine current offerings in pursuit of curating the optimal customer experience.
Headquartered in Tokyo, H.I.S. is a global leader in the travel and tourism industry. With offices located in over 130 cities around the world, H.I.S. has a vast network of extensive on-the-ground resources.
KKday CEO Ming Chen comments, “H.I.S. is not just a financial investor, but is valued as a strategic investor. By utilizing H.I.S.’s global resources and integrating it with KKday’s strong marketing and big data programs, we will be able to change the in-destination travel operations model.”
ChinaTravelNews learned that Mr. Chen had co-founded Eztravel.com, one of Taiwan's largest online travel companies, which was later acquired by Ctrip in 2009. Mr. Chen is also co-founder of travel booking platform Ezfly.com.
Ming Chen, CEO, KKday
This strategic alliance creates many opportunities to explore synergies, as Mr. Chen states that “KKday will be focusing on improving the customer experience and strengthening our relationship with our suppliers. These two strategies are highly related. You can’t improve customer experience without having an amicable relationship with the supplier.”
As the in-destination travel industry is fragmented, managing supply chain is a major challenge. KKday focuses on developing a strong Supply Chain Management (SCM) system that allows all types of suppliers, big or small, to easily communicate with customers and manage orders without any IT investment. KKday’s SCM system includes the usage of QR code redemption, and API integration of larger tour providers onto the KKday platform, thereby streamlining the user experience. With a complete technology solution, customers can receive booking confirmation and updates in a timely manner while suppliers can manage their business efficiently.
In addition to growing its operations across Asia, KKday will further improve its position in China as well as expand into the Asia travel segment of both US and European travelers. KKday will also look to enrich current product offerings, offer personalized itineraries, and improve its end-to-end customer experience. With this new funding and support from H.I.S. and Mindworks Ventures, KKday is expected to remain as the leading travel experience booking platform for people around the world.