ChinaTravelNews – Individual tourist service KKday announced on March 15 that the company had received a total of USD 4.5 million in the A-round funding, in which AppWorks ("之初创投") was the lead investor and Jiuyi Capital ("九易资本") followed. The money will be invested in market expansion in Southeast Asia.
Ming Chen, founder and CEO of KKday, is an expert of sightseeing travel products having been in the online travel business for 16 years and spearheaded ezTravel, StarTravel and ezfly. Mr. Chen thinks KKday stands out by giving customers the discretion to arrange their own itineraries after they have booked air tickets and accommodation.
The booking platform has been growing since it was launched in January 2015. Its revenue in January exceeded TWD 30 million, and the company has increased its head-count from 20 at start up to 100 up to now. It has set up branch offices in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and mainland China, and offices in Singapore and Malaysia will be launched by April.
Jamie C. Lin, founding partner of AppWorks, believes that KKday will achieve promising results as it expands according to the philosophy of its founder. "Independent travel will increasingly displace rigid sightseeing tours as the availability of low-cost flights and accommodation options offered by Airbnb, Booking.com and Agoda have made it easier for travelers to determine their own itineraries. This underscores the growing potential of DIY travel,” he said.
“KKday’s philosophy of providing consumers with personalized self-designed itineraries, supported by Mr. Chen’s entrepreneurial instinct and unique market insights, enables travelers to pick and choose components of their itineraries from a host of selections broken down from traditional tour itineraries. We believe that KKday will have outstanding achievement in its overseas expansion and its prospect is promising," Mr Lin said.
Yongzhi Lian, professor of National Taiwan University College of Management, said that market demand for low-cost flights has been growing each year, from 30% in 2014 to 35% in 2015, whereas the percentage of travelers who took traditional flights decreased from 70% in 2014 to 63%. This reflects that the composition of travelers is changing, and more white-collar workers and students traveling on a budget would prefer to spend less on flights and more on destination experiences.
KKday is right on trend by satisfying such demand and the company will gain a stronger competitive position as such. The A-round fund will be invested in expanding its presence overseas, primarily in Hong Kong, Macao, Singapore and Malaysia, towards achieving its goal of becoming the biggest destination OTA in Southeast Asia. (Translated by Jerry)