Alibaba invests in Taiwan vacation rental startup

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Taiwan-based vacation rental platform AsiaYo has raised US$7 million in a Series B funding round led by Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund and China Development Financial, which will fuel its expansion into South-east Asia.

Darwin Ventures and Delta Ventures also participated in the funding round.

Cheng, the founder of AsiaYo, wants to move into the South-east Asian market

The funding will be used to further fuel AsiaYo’s international ambitions in Asia, with activations in Singapore and Malaysia expected in early 2019.

This will be supported by ongoing product development and talent acquisition as AsiaYo sets its sights on attracting millennials to the hospitality and tourism industry.

“With rapid economic development across Asia, we have seen a significant rise in inter-regional tourism – AsiaYo has capitalised on this trend, demonstrating its growth potential,” said Andrew Lee, executive director of the Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund. “We’re currently working with AsiaYo to further develop technological capabilities in the travel industry.”

Working in collaboration with more than 50 partners globally, AsiaYo has established its presence in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand, with overseas bookings accounting for 60 per cent of the business. Currently available in English, Chinese and Korean, the company will soon launch a Japanese site in 2019.

Launched in 2014 by a former financial analyst, CK Cheng, AsiaYo has quickly expanded to now managing over 60,000 listings across 60 cities, and serving 300,000 members. From an original team of four, it now employs more than 100 people.

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