Sanmaoyou, a platform providing global travel and culture contents, has raised nearly RMB 10 million (USD 1.5 million) in its Series A+ financing round led by New Oriental Education & Technology Group, 36Kr reported.
Sanmaoyou will use the proceeds for developing new sources of high-quality content such as educational tourism courses and children's general education curricula. The investor New Oriental is bullish about the prospect of the platform which provides content related to both travel and general education, and believes that they can find synergy between their businesses.
Sanmaoyou started by offering tour guide service. It later integrated PGC, UPGC and UGC contents to build a platform of culture and education services. It has now expanded to cover training courses of history and culture, online cultural exhibition, travel FM and others.
While the cultural tourism industry is heavily hit by Covid-19, Sanmaoyou suffers less than other platforms that merely offer travel services. Sanmaoyou said that was because offline activities were not its only source of revenues. Since early 2019, Sanmaoyou has launched online courses to attract high net-worth users. At the end of last year, it commercialized a VR panoramic tour guide, enabling users to take virtual tours of scenic spots and exhibitions at home.
Despite diminished guided tour business income due to the pandemic, Sanmaoyou founder Jianxiong Ding said the company has captured a lot of new users. Its registered users had increased to 26 million from 20 million last year, and the number of paid customers had grown to 6 million from 4 million, he said. He expected that the total revenue of this year would go up by over 20% and revenue from online courses would account for 25%-30%.
Sanmaoyou said that it would further diversify its platform to attract more quality content providers and users who are interested in cultural tourism. Sanmaoyou has established strategic partnerships with Huawei, Trip.com and AutoNavi, aiming to be a unicorn in the cultural tourism content sector in three years.