Notable among them is Venture Republic Global (VRG), Japan’s leading travel search engine, Nelson Wang, General Partner at Zino Ventures, Shannon Chaluangco, Lichi Wu, industry veteran and individual investor, Yani Lee, ecosystem builder and advisors to several accelerators and startup programs, such as Asia Beat, TechCrunch ShengZhen, Shift and Barsa, Andrew Vranjes and Tom Duncan of KDV Holdings, and Sung-Min Chung, a seasoned technology investment banking and private equity veteran based in Hong Kong.
The backers’ bullish outlook on Southeast Asia’s travel sector, notably Southeast Asia’s favorable demographic trends, rapid urbanization and rising income coupled with the company’s unique business model, providing a “Shopify” solution for launching OTAs (online travel agencies) were the primary reasons why the investors decided to back the Taiwanese start-up.
TravelSkope's diversity of booking modules gives partners the flexibility to choose services to offer to their customers.
Kei Shibata, CEO of VRG, reiterated this point, remarking “Having operated Travel.jp in the OTA realm for over 15 years, we have yet to see a business model as innovative as TravelSkope’s. We see a real opportunity for the team to fundamentally change the travel industry in emerging markets.”
The company plans to utilize the proceeds to establish an office in Singapore, where it is incorporated, and expand into Southeast Asian market. Already, the company has recruited Tiffany Wu from Pinehurst Advisors, the company’s seed round investor, to serve as CFO. TravelSkope will use the funding to land additional partners in Southeast Asia and build on traction beyond their native Taiwan. Currently, the company counts one of Taiwan’s two major airlines and a top three Taiwanese e-commerce companies as clients.
Two of TravelSkope's product portfolio, YesTrip (left) and SavvyTickets (right), fully automatic online travel agencies.
Unique about TravelSkope's turn-key All-in-One OTA Solution is that it allows its partners and clients to launch an OTA “overnight.” For any partner with existing consumer traffic, TravelSkope allows the clients to add a new revenue stream almost as effortlessly as turning on a virtual tap. TravelSkope offers a portfolio of modules, e.g. car rental, hotel booking, airline ticketing, etc., allowing its partners to choose the services they want to offer. The technology stack is developed entirely in-house and is priced at a fraction of the cost of industry incumbents.
Peter Chen, co-founder & President of the company, stated, “With our software, All-in-One OTA Solution, we are leveling the playing field for media and e-commerce companies to go head-to-head with existing travel agencies and OTA. Currently, media companies are only able to monetize through referrals, but going forward, media companies would be able to capture the full economic value of a travel-related transaction.”
Founded in 2013, TravelSkope previously launched Hellowings.com and Savvytickets.com, and received Seed funding in 2016 from Pinehurst Advisors, KK Fund and COENT Venture Partners.