China’s answer to Airbnb, Tujia Sweetome, invests in Cozy Holding Corp.

China: Cozy Holding Corp., renowned for its vacation rental platform, Cozystay, has announced its property management company, Cozy Living has secured investment from Tujia Sweetome.

Sweetome is a China-based online vacation rental provider Tujia’s offline property management group. Tujia itself is China’s largest short-term rental firm and is widely considered as the country’s answer to Airbnb with an estimated value of $1.5 billion.

This investment follows Cozystay’s recent announcement that it would integrate blockchain into its platform as part of its partnership with Singapore-based Share Everything Lab Pte. Ltd. (SEL).

Sweetome accounts for around 40,000 properties throughout Asia and 20%-25% of all Tujia’s transactions.

Cozystay Founder and CEO, Galen Cheng, said: “This investment provides Cozystay with additional fuel to grow our customer base and to advance our technology, while also providing us with increased access to the Chinese market. Both Tujia Sweetome and the Cozy brands are known and trusted in their regions and this will help both to continue to grow.”

The integration of blockchain is designed to improve customer service by eliminating double bookings by providing a single source of truth and improving security and reducing fraud through robust data protection and identity verification.

It will also ensure the verification of reviewers and decrease fees by providing funds via blockchain without third party mark-ups.

Co-founder and CEO of Tujia, Justin Lao, said: “This investment provides Sweetome with increased access to the North American market, as well as access to the Share Everything Lab blockchain platform which has the potential to improve the customer experience of the vacation rental and property management industry significantly.”

Cozystay has a database of 60,000 users, 200,000 listings worldwide and offices in Vancouver and Beijing. The China-based company can also be used by Chinese-speaking hosts.

The number of Chinese tourists travelling abroad has risen exponentially, growing from 10.5 million overseas trips by Chinese tourists in 2001 to 145 million in 2017.

Chinese travellers tend to expect more of an increased level of service so companies such as Tujia and Cozystay are looking to tailor themselves to satisfy these unique requirements.