KKday, the leading travel experiences platform in Asia, today announced it has secured additional funding in a Series C+ round, bringing the total Series C round raised to US$95 million. The round is led by major tech Asia private equity firm TGVest Capital to accelerate tech.
The injection will be used to expand KKday’s team globally, and deepen its domestic footprint, particularly in markets where there is a focus on domestic travel (e.g. Japan, Korea, Taiwan, etc.), and tech innovation to meet the increasing demands of online travel agencies (‘OTAs’) and local activity and experience providers (local merchants).
“We remain steadfast in our value proposition on providing unique hyperlocal experiences to travelers who are becoming more digital. Hyperlocalization and digitization will be our north star for scaling and building our user and merchant base. Over the past year, we have laid the groundwork and seen our domestic travel business growing steadily in key markets like Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, and Southeast Asia. We plan to double down on our current initiatives including partnering with our merchants and OTA’s to digitize their businesses in anticipation of pent-up demand for tourism and travel,” said Ming Chen, CEO and Founder of KKday.
KKday is rebounding swiftly due to growth in its domestic travel business, new business verticals, and successfully rolling out Rezio (KKday’s all-in-one SaaS solution to manage bookings and inventory for merchants on multiple channels) to over 1,600 merchants worldwide - reaching 2.7 million travelers globally. To meet this demand, KKday also plans to double down and aggressively hire across regions and roles including software engineers, R&D, business development and operations, and marketing.
In June 2022, KKday’s GMV surpassed pre-Covid levels. It also lowered its user acquisition costs to one-third of its costs pre-pandemic. During Covid-19, KKday’s domestic travel business has been the main driver of growth across key markets including Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. KKday also expects to see strong domestic business growth in Japan particularly off the back of its acquisition of Activity Japan, one of the leading tours and activity OTAs in Japan. Business momentum is also expected to pick up in markets like Korea and Singapore where international travel is returning.
With an influx of domestic and international travelers expecting to return, an increase of local activity providers have adopted Rezio to help digitize and scale their businesses, and get access to manage their bookings on multiple OTAs. With the new funding, KKday also plans to scale and build new Rezio features to automate and streamline solutions for merchants.
For example, KKday has partnered with Nami Island, a popular attraction in South Korea with millions of annual visitors, to integrate its software Rezio with the attraction’s hardware (e.g. e-gate, kiosk, POS system). Similarly, Asahiyama Zoo, one of the major zoo attractions in Japan, has just signed a multi-year contract with KKday to implement Rezio’s solutions.
KKday targets to increase by 100% new merchants onto the Rezio platform. KKday’s Rezio has also partnered with major OTAs such as Viator to deepen its merchants’ channels and footprint globally. Its partnership with Viator allows Rezio to integrate its API to enable merchants to manage their products on Viator and Tripadvisor on top of its existing sales channels. KKday also plans to relaunch its in-demand owned and operated signature tours that provide travelers with curated quality local experiences as borders reopen.
“Traveler demand is rebounding at a fast pace as borders reopen. Ming and his team’s relentless focus on innovation and providing long-term value to its ecosystem of travel operators, activity providers, and users has proven paramount in weathering the Covid-19 wave. With this funding round, KKday will be in a strong position to capture market share and value as travel continues to reopen and digital transformation continues to be a long-term trend,” said Claire Lai, Managing Director of TGVest Capital.