Chinese vacation and tourism booking site, Tuniu which operates in over 120 countries, has secured USD 148 million led by e-commerce firm JD and Hony Capital. JD and Hony have invested in USD 50 million each. One of Tuniu’s rival, Ctrip International Ltd, injected USD 15 million and the remaining USD 33 million was split between the Tuniu’s own CEO and COO.
As per a Reuters report, the raised funds will be used to extend its reach into China’s lower-tier cities as well as to further develop its technology.
Tuniu was founded in 2006 by co-founder and CEO Dunde Yu, it offers an online platform for all kinds of tourism and vacant products along with follow up services and guarantees. It went public in May this year and received USD 72 million Post-IPO. Including this round, the firm has secured a total capital of USD 343 million, till date. It is backed by 6 investors including Gobi Partners, DCM, Sequoia Capital and Highland Capital partners.
The investment brings JD.com which revamped its travel website this year, in to closer competition with tourism sector with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. According to Government data, China’s domestic tourism sector earned USD 469 billion in 2013 from 3.25 tourists, both online and offline.
Ctrip has invested USD 200 million in Tuniu’s rival LY.com which recently said, it would surpass Tuniu with in 12 months. Now, it will be see interesting if Ctrip will play the role of mediator then how the two companies handle their differences.
As per China Tourism Academy report, Chinese tourists are set to spend USD 155 billion on trips abroad this year and that figure is expected to triple by 2020.