Vietnam-based online hotel and flight booking portal Vntrip has secured an undisclosed amount led by Switzerland family-owned group IHAG Holding, raising the firm’s valuation to US$45 million, its founder and CEO Le Dac Lam told DealStreet Asia.
The same report said that Vntrip will use the new funds to increase market share in the flight booking vertical.
Adding IHAG Holding as a backer will also help it gain access to a wider base of investors and help it position itself positively in subsequent rounds, the entrepreneur said, according to a report by Chinese media iHeima.
IHAG Holding invests across sectors, operating globally, including in real estate, aviation and IT.
The company had previously secured two rounds of funding, including US$3 million in a Series A round from FengHe Group and Hancock Revocable Trust in 2016, and US$10 million in a Series B round led by Hong Kong investment firm Hendale Capital in 2017.
Headquartered in Hanoi, Vntrip supports both domestic and outbound travel, including hotels and flights in and to Bangkok, Singapore, Taiwan and more. Competitors include global players like Agoda and Booking.com and local companies like Chudu24 and Gotadi.com.
Other travel startups in Asia are also busy raising money recently, especially in the tour and activities marketplace vertical. Examples include Hong Kong-based Klook, which raised US$200 million in early August, and Taiwanese startup KKDay, which has added Alibaba to its list of investors as it targets mainland Chinese tourists. One Vietnamese company Triip has raised two rounds of funding since its inception in 2013.
– The Vietnamese travel tech scene is heating up, as more locals are travelling both domestically or overseas. In 2016 alone, 6.5 million out of 92.7 million Vietnamese travelled abroad, which accounted for a 15% increase compared to 2015.
– One minor thing that sets Vntrip apart from its flight and hotel booking competitors is that it offers free pickup services from the airport to the hotel for accommodation bookings within Vietnam.
Editor: Ben Jiang