Travel Platform KKday Secures $10.5M Capital Boost in Alliance with Japanese Travel Giant H.I.S.
KKday, Asia’s largest travel-experience platform, has raised US$10.5 million in additional funding led by Japanese travel industry leader H.I.S. with participation from existing investor MindWorks Ventures. The alliance and funding is expected to help KKday expand its regional presence and further improve its variety of affordable product offerings to travelers.
Using Big Data to Evolve the Travel Experience
KKday is one of the Asia’s largest travel-experience ecommerce platforms, curating more than 10,000 unique experiences from over 500 cities and 80 countries with over 4 million unique visitors and serves a few hundred thousand travelers each month.
Research by Phocuswright projects that the travel tours and activities industry will reach US$183B by 2020 from US$135B in 2016. With such a large market, KKday has already implemented an effective globalized strategy by providing high-quality and affordable experiences to travelers from across the world. Consequently, KKday has become one of the few e-commerce startups that has been able to gain traction in both regional and global markets. The company is also constantly applying big data analytics to drive business decisions and to refine current offerings in pursuit of curating the optimal customer experience. With substantial revenue growth and positive reviews, KKday’s recent performance has caught the attention of Japanese travel giant, H.I.S.
Headquartered in Tokyo, H.I.S. is a global leader in the travel and tourism industry. With offices located in over 130 cities around the world, H.I.S. has a vast network with extensive on-the-ground resources. As KKday CEO, Ming Chen, comments, “H.I.S. is not just a financial investor, but is valued as a strategic investor. By utilizing H.I.S.’s global resources and integrating it with KKday’s strong marketing and big data programs, we will be able to change the in-destination travel operations model”.
Building Relationships Through Technology
This strategic alliance creates many opportunities to explore synergies, as Mr. Chen states that “KKday will be focusing on improving the customer experience and strengthening our relationship with our suppliers. These two strategies are highly related. You can’t improve customer experience without having an amicable relationship with the supplier. As the in-destination travel industry is fragmented, managing supply chain is a major challenge. This is why KKday focuses on developing a strong Supply Chain Management (SCM) system that allows all types of suppliers, big or small, to easily communicate with customers and manage orders without any IT investment. KKday’s SCM system includes the usage of QR code redemption, and API integration of larger tour providers onto the KKday platform, thereby streamlining the user experience. With a complete technology solution, customers can receive booking confirmation and updates in a timely manner while suppliers can manage their business efficiently.”
By nature, local travel industries are highly affected by seasonality which makes it very difficult for suppliers to manage their capacity. By working with KKday, suppliers can now attract customers from all over Asia, which will help to ease seasonal fluctuations. Chen explains, “Let’s take April for example, the first week is Taiwanese Spring break, and then mid-month Hong Kong has their Easter long holiday, and at the end of April we have the Thai water festival, all this followed up rapidly by the Japanese Golden Week. The KKday platform can provide suppliers with stable and consistent revenue stream because every day is a holiday somewhere.”
Expansion Plan : SEA, China, and Beyond
In addition to growing its operations across Asia, KKday will further improve its position in China as well as expand into the Asia travel segment of both US and European travelers. KKday will also look to enrich current product offerings, offer personalized itineraries, and improve its end-to-end customer experience. With this new funding and support from H.I.S. and Mindworks Ventures, KKday is expected to remain as the leading travel experience booking platform for people around the world.
KKday is an online platform that specializes in local in-destination tours and guides. Through a collection of highly curated experiences, KKday provides travelers an avenue to find exciting off-grid activities and book them easily through their platform. Under CEO Ming Ming Chen, the company has grown from the initial 20 employees in 2015, to currently 280. With offices in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, and China (Shanghai), KKday is the largest travel e-commerce platform in Asia.
Currently hosting over 10,000 experiences from over 80 countries and 500 cities, the platform is multilingual and supports both traditional and simplified Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, and other languages. KKday’s goal is to be accessible and help all types of travelers find and experience new things. Visit KKday.com to learn more.
H.I.S. currently has 271 retail outlets located in 156 cities and 70 countries around the world. Our highly experienced and knowledgeable local staff are there to respond to your needs and giving you peace of mind so that you can enjoy your travels. Our international network allows us to acquire the latest travel information to arrange the best tickets and hotel reservations. Each location offers our own curated and exclusive tours. We hope to provide you with the best travel experience no matter where you go.
About MindWorks Ventures
MindWorks Ventures is a Hong Kong based venture capital firm that invests into high-growth technology startups in the post-seed stage with a focus in the Southeast Asia and Greater China regions. MindWorks Ventures’ multi-stage venture funds invest in companies and assist the brightest founders to build technology for rapid adoption, scalability and disruption. Their portfolio companies include Lalamove, Wonder Workshop, and KKday.