P2P startup Shou65 announced in its new app launch event in Shanghai that it received a multi-million yuan investment from Cybernaut and Tisiwi.
P2P + O2O model
Shou65 is an online tool launched in November 2013 to help travel enthusiasts find genuine travel partners and high-quality hosts. It eventually grew into a platform enabling users to truly experience local culture and enjoy a whole new travel experience in the vibrant travel and social community.
Members of the Shou65 platform are divided into three levels – members, trainees and pros. Members are mainly fellow travel enthusiasts who act as hosts and provide guide services and are currently in major and second-tier cities. After a member successfully conducts one trip for Shou65, he can be upgraded to a trainee.
“The biggest advantage to being a trainee is that when they gather more members that have traveled with them from the Shou65 community they will be able to advance to the pro level and become a regional coordinator and receive payment. Currently there are 18 pros and 22 trainees on the platform,” said founder Zhunzeng Luo.
Shou65 got a multi-million yuan investment from Tisiwi in September 2013 and experienced rapid growth in the first six months after its inauguration. The re-launched product places greater emphasis on a more relaxed sign-up process for users and more categories of interests to bring together more specific social groups.
Outlook for Chinese P2P travel companies
According to online data, China’s online market in the Q3 reached a scale of RMB74.16 billion, a 25.7% y-o-y increase and 15.4% q-o-q growth. The scale of China’s OTA market reached RMB4.2 billion, a 30% y-o-y increase and 16% q-o-q increase.
Online travel companies like Tuniu and Ctrip have already become major players in the sector and now P2P is highlighted as the up and coming sector in the travel industry. Whether P2P can secure their share in the travel market or set new travel habit trends in the long run depends on if they can maximize their advantage in cost-effectiveness and the match of users with similar interests.(Translation by David)