Fund injection, partnerships fuel vacation rental startup’s expansion in Asia

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Fresh from a US$7 million Series B funding round, vacation rental startup AsiaYo is mapping an ambitious expansion in Asia that includes entering its first South-east Asian markets.

The Taiwanese startup completed its Series B, led by Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund and China Development Financial.

A screenshot from the AsiaYo website.

It has since announced its launch in Singapore and Malaysia in 2Q2019, in addition to plans to roll out a Japanese version of the online platform in 2H2019. AsiaYo currently manages over 60,000 listings in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand.

It is set to add more South Korean listings to its platform with its latest partnership with Yanolja, a unicorn that’s said to be the country’s largest accommodations booking platform.

The deal, which involves an exchange of listings between Yanolja and AsiaYo, adds to the latter’s stable of foreign tie-up including with Japan’s Rakuten Lifull Stay, Japan’s Neppan, Hong Kong Airlines, Taiwan’s KKday and Taiwan Host Association.

South Korea is a high growth market for tourism. The number of tourists between Taiwan and South Korea is increasing every year, with an estimated one million travelling each way.

With this partnership, AsiaYo estimates that the revenue from the Korean market will see double-digit growth this year.

In addition to the arrangements in North-east Asia, AsiaYo has been actively exploring the Chinese market, having set up an office in Beijing at the end of 2018. With Chinese tourists making over 30 million trips to Asia countries each year, the collaboration with Fliggy will attract more Chinese tourists to make reservations on AsiaYo for self-guided trips to various countries throughout Asia.

CK Cheng, founder and CEO at AsiaYo, said: “The biggest reason for naming the brand AsiaYo is that we wanted to be a cross-regional and cross-language platform from day one. I look forward to developing more listings from different countries and making use of a synergistic network to help travellers from all over the world find ideal accommodation easily, and to promote cultural exchanges as well as the local economy.”

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