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Taiwan Travel Experience Platform Raises $75-Mln in Series C Funding

KKday, an e-commerce travel website headquartered in Taiwan, has raised a total of $75 million after announcing its Series C funding.

Series C financing refers to the initial stages of raising capital. For startup financing, it would be considered the fourth stage, while it is the final stage in venture capital funding. Nevertheless, if the company did not meet its targets, it can still extend the rounds to Series D or Series E.

Despite the uncertainties caused by the global pandemic, the Series C round was very successful. The event attracted the public-private equity fund, Cool Japan Fund, and the National Development Fund. MindWorks Capital and Monk’s Hill Ventures also participated in the latest round.

Chen Ming-ming, the founder of KKday, told The Entrepreneur Asia that the coronavirus pandemic has severely crippled the tourism and travel industry throughout the world. And it is the reason why he is grateful that their investors have placed their trust and confidence in the company to return their capital.

According to the UN’s World Tourism Organization, the worldwide lockdowns resulted in grounded planes and locked hotels and resorts in nearly all countries. For the first quarter of the year, the international tourist arrivals decreased by 57%, which means that 67 million people were staying home rather than traveling. In terms of revenue losses, the travel restrictions cost the industry about $80 billion.

Chen said that the pandemic has not distracted them from their goal of becoming the primary platform in the travel experience.

David Chang, the co-founder of MindWorks Capital, said credited the KKday’s team for the amount raised during the recent series C funding. The investors would not have risked their money if the team did not spark a level of confidence that they can overcome the seemingly insurmountable problems.

With the capital infusion, Chang remains confident that KKday would have a singular edge over its competition when the travel and tourism industry recovers.

The company plans on utilizing the capital to expand its reach globally. Part of the funding will be used to fine-tune Rezio, an app for both the travel operators and the experience providers. With the technological solution, the users can manage bookings, payment gateways, and e-commerce under one platform.

The KKday CEO said that Rezio is their solution to help make the lives of their partners and the end-users easier. The company piloted the app in Taiwan and Japan early this year, and KKday will add even more features before rolling it out in other Asian countries.

While there are countless travel websites around, KKday offers “the experience” as its main selling point. More importantly, it provides an opportunity for small players to extend their reach globally.

For instance, people who want to go crab fishing in Alaska, white-water rafting in Zambezi River in Zambia, rock-climbing in Railay Beach in Thailand, the platform will link you with locals who can help realize your dream. The website boasts of over 10,000 activities worldwide.

The company was founded in 2014 and currently lists Taipei as its main headquarters. Its competitors include Klook and another Taiwanese company, FunNow.

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