Chinese Travel B2B Platform Octopus Gets $95M From Tempus Group, Ant Financial, CCB

Suzhou-based travel B2B platform Ba Zhua Yu Online, or Octopus, has raised a RMB600 million (US$95 million) series C round from Tempus Group, a conglomerate focusing on travel and personal financial services, Ant Financial and CCB International, an investment services firm owned by China Construction Bank Corporation.

Ant Financial has confirmed the deal.

Founded in 2012, Octopus focuses on B2B online travel services, including domestic and international travel, ticket booking and car rental. It has served more than 20,000 travel agencies and distributors, the company said.

"The investment shows the three investors’ confidence in our company," said Yu Dong, CEO of Octopus. "We will leverage Ant Financial’s services including online banking, Alipay, Zhima Credit and Tempus’s ticket booking and tourism businesses."

In 2013, the company raised RMB150 million (US$25 million) series A funding from Vision Knight Capital and SB China Capital (SBCVC).

Alibaba’s travel business also includes online B2C platform Feizhu. Last August, it partnered with Marriott International to form a joint venture to sell online travel bookings and loyalty program deals in China.

The Chinese online travel sector continues to receive a steady stream of funding, driven largely by the fact that China is currently the largest source of international travelers.

In March, Sequoia led a US$50 million round in travel guide booking service Hi Guides. In November, Chinese online travel agent International acquired, a Silicon Valley-based travel planning and local discovery app and website. And in October, Sequoia Capital China, Matrix Partners and Goldman Sachs led a US$60 million series C round in Klook, a Hong Kong-based travel activities booking platform.

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