Hong Kong-based travel activities booking start-up Klook Travel, today announced that it has completed a US$1.5 million seed investment round, mainly led by mainland China tech veteran, Xiaoguang Wu (Tencent’s Senior Executive Vice President and former CEO of E-Commerce), as well as the launch of Klook Mobile, Asia’s first travel activities mobile app available both on iOS and Android.
Klook is an online platform that provides travelers with a curated selection of activities and attractions in Asia, which can be booked seamlessly through paperless ticketing, in addition to offering exclusive discounts of up to 50%. Klook iOS has already been featured by Apple’s App Store as one of the “Best New Apps” in 14 countries across Asia for three consecutive weeks – just one week into its soft launch. Meanwhile, Xiaoguang Wu is lauded as one of Asia’s most respected executives in the technology and e-commerce space, and brings considerable experience and value to the company.
Klook to Revolutionize the Travel Activities Space
Klook is a one-stop shop, providing a curated selection of activities for travelers to explore and book. In addition to offering exclusive deals of up to 50% off, Klook has a team of travel experts, handpicking and verifying these experiences.
“Travelers have long been fond of insider deals for hotels or vacation packages, and Klook is the first to bring this concept to the travel activities space,” said Eric Gnock Fah, co-founder of Klook. “We have a team of travel curators on the ground, not only scouting for the best deals but also carefully vetting each operator we work with.”
As consumers are getting used to booking services instantly through mobile devices,
Klook is the first to enable instant ticketing to some of the most popular attractions in Asia – within a matter of seconds after booking, travelers can show up, with no more queuing up, and no more printing vouchers – all seamlessly synced with Klook Mobile, Asia’s first travel activities booking app.
“Mobile will be a game changer for this sector,” added Eric. “Although, according to recent data, over 80% of travelers research their trip online pre-departure, we believe a significant share of the bookings happen at the destination – and that’s where mobile comes into play. We are excited that Klook Mobile is leading this trend in Asia.”
Behind the Seed Round Investment of US$1.5 million
Mr. Wu, Tencent’s Senior Executive Vice President and former Chief Executive Officer of its E-Commerce Division, is the lead investor of Klook’s seed investment round of US$1.5 million completed back in February 2015. He also serves on the board of directors of Elong (Nasdaq: Long), one of China’s largest hotel booking sites invested in by Expedia and recently acquired by Ctrip.
“Mr. Wu will be a valuable player in bringing Klook’s vision to fruition with his years of experience from major tech and travel companies,” said Ethan Lin, co-founder of Klook. “We are extremely positive at the strategic value that such investment brings and the myriad of collaboration opportunities this opens up. Tencent’s leading position in China is unquestionable but the tech giant is also very active in other Asian markets with the likes of Wechat, iPick, Joox, etc.”
By 2030, tourists from Asia will lead all regions of the world in total departures and expenditures, contributing more than 50% of the growth in global traffic. Unsurprisingly, China will be the most significant contributor.
“With Asia’s growing significance in the global travel sector, Klook is well positioned to capture this huge market opportunity along with its innovations in mobile booking and instant ticketing,” said Mr. Wu. “In particular, with the rise of independent travel, China is seeing increasing demand for more authentic experiences, and that is an area Klook excels in – uncovering unique, local activities.”
Klook’s platform is designed and optimized for both English and Chinese native speakers, ensuring it fully takes on the two largest travel markets. The seed round funding also saw travel industry veteran Shuren Hu join as advisor to Klook. Mr. Hu served as Vice-Chairman of Strategy and Planning at the China National Tourism Administration.
Klook’s ultimate goal is to become the go-to platform for travelers looking for fun things-to-do.