Internet, Investment

China Online Travel Service Platform Mafengwo Raises $133M From General Atlantic, Temasek

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Beijing-based travel service platform Mafengwo has raised a US$133 million series D round from General Atlantic, Temasek, Chinese private equity firm Ocean Link, Chinese venture capital fund Yuantai Changqing fund, and Houpu Investment Management, a private equity firm founded by former Goldman Sachs China Partner Fang Fenglei.

Existing investors including Capital Today, Hillhouse Capital and Qiming Ventures Partners participated in the round, according to an internal letter reported by local media. As of publication, Mafengwo had not responded to a request for confirmation from China Money Network.

Founded in 2006, Mafengwo provides travel information and booking services for independent travelers. To differentiate itself from other travel services, the company focuses on building online communities of travelers who share information, tips and diary entries. The company says it has more than 120 million users and 80 million monthly active users who contribute 13,000 travel diaries monthly. It also says it has data covering 60,000 destinations and 51 million points of interests worldwide. In a conference in November, the company revealed that it expects revenue from its online travel business to reach RMB9 billion (US$1.36 billion) this year.

"China’s younger generation grew up in the mobile Internet era and prefer in-depth and independent tours," said Eric Zhang, head of China, managing director at General Atlantic. "Based on years of customer-oriented services, Mafengwo has developed large amounts of high-quality user-generated contents and a good reputation among travelers. It continues to update its mobile products and platform and we are optimistic about its potential to capture the Chinese market and we will continue to invest on it."

Proceeds from the financing round will be invested in data development and strengthening its supply chain system, including more cooperation with local tourism resources such as hotels, according to CEO Chen Gang.

The company previously raised an undisclosed series C round from Hillhouse Capital, Coatue Management LLC, Qiming Venture Partners and Richard Barton, founder of Expedia,in 2015. Its competitor Qiongyou, raised US$60 million series D round from UTour Group Co, a Beijing-based tourism company and SIG last January.

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