B2B travel platform Octopus scoops $95 million, backed by Alipay’s parent
Alipay parent company Ant Financial and CCB International are new investors, and both will participate in Octopus’s new S2B initiative.
ChinaTravelNews - Octopus announced on April 8 the completion of its 600-million-yuan (around USD 95 million) C round strategic financing. The new investors for the round, Alipay parent company Ant Financial and CCB International, will also participate in Octopus’s new S2B (Supply Chain Platform To Business) strategy.
Octopus, founded in 2012, mainly serves as an online travel distribution platform that offers a wide range of products, from short- and long-haul domestic tours to outbound tours, free independent tours and cruise lines.
Currently, Octopus has 10 offices in Wuxi, Anhui, Shanghai, Zhejiang, Qingdao, Xinjiang and other Chinese cities to cover more than 40 departure points in China. It plans to achieve nationwide coverage by 2020. The platform integrates more than 60,000 travel products, with nearly 2,500 suppliers and over 16,000 distributors in and outside of China. Its transaction volume in 2016 exceeded RMB 4.5 billion and it served 3.3 million users through various partners.
On March 27, Octopus launched "Fei Yu" (meaning fat fish in Chinese), its first domestic long-haul brand featuring a direct connection to destinations, ground mobility options and a real-time superior supply chain for resource integration. The brand is seen as critical for the S2B initiative and has taken hold in 15 cities across China.
Octopus had raised RMB 150 million in its A round of financing in November 2013, and then RMB 170 million in its B round in August 2016 from Tempus Global and other existing stakeholders. Tempus invested RMB 50 million in exchange for a 4.17% stake in Octopus.