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Taiwan-based rental platform AsiaYo raises $7m from Alibaba funding round

Taiwan: Taiwan-based tourism vacation rental startup platform AsiaYo has raised US$7 million in Series B funding from investors including Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund.

China Development and Innovation Acceleration Co., Ltd., Da Ying Management Consulting Co., Ltd. and Delta Capital all participated in the latest funding round.

AsiaYo, which currently has presence in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand, will use the funding for its overseas market expansion plan, product development and talent recruitment. It said it also hopes to launch operations in Singapore and Malaysia among other places in the first quarter of 2019.

The company, which was founded four years ago, claims to be Taiwan’s largest special accommodation booking platform with a portfolio of over 60,000 hotels in 60 cities and 300,000 members. It now employs over 100 people around the continent and has 50 global partners.

AsiaYo has also launched its technology B2C and B2B2C business model, in which it will work with multinational travel partners to become the “go to” travel platform for cross-regional and cross-language in Asia. It will have language interfaces in Chinese, English and Korean.

Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund was launched by Alibaba Group in 2015 with a fund size of HK$1 billion dedicated for Hong Kong and NT$10 billion for Taiwan.

Last month, rival Taiwan-based tourism platform KKday raised an undisclosed Series B+ funding round from Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, a non-profit branch of Alibaba Group, which supports Hong Kong and Taiwan-based younger generation entrepreneurs with capital and strategic investment.

The news came just two months after KKday reportedly raised an undisclosed amount from Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund in July. It had earlier raised $10.5 million in a Series B led by Japanese travel operator HIS back in February.

Later this year in August, another Taiwan-based instant booking app for leisure activities, FunNow, raised $5 million in a Series A funding round led by the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund for its expansion across Southeast Asia and Japan.