Photo from onehome.me
China’s Airbnb-like platform, onehome.me, recently secured tens of millions of USD in Pre-A financing led by investors backed by Alibaba.
Riverhill Fund, backed by Alibaba, and Morningside Ventures, which invested in Sohu portal and China’s version of Apple, Xiaomi, led the round of funding, which closed last month, Tencent reported on Thursday.
The C2C platform targets the overseas travel market for Chinese travelers. According to the China National Tourism Administration, Chinese overseas tourism reached 120 million in 2015.
Borrowing the concept from Airbnb’s “sharing economy”, the platform allows landlords who are overseas Chinese to provide direct service including accommodation, food and travel information for Chinese travelers. It offers the vetted landlords information for travelers to pick. Once they find the landlords, travelers can pay through Alipay and WeChat in advance.
The logo of onehome.me represents the union of travelers and landlords as a whole family.
Onehome.me wants to differentiate itself from other players by connecting travelers and landlords based on common cultural background and the Chinese language, bringing new experience for Chinese travelers traveling abroad.
“Language and culture differences exist all the time when people travel abroad. What we do is try to connect Chinese travelers with overseas Chinese and provide convenience while traveling,” said Yang Lianghai, founder of onehome.me.
Founded last January, the platform claims to have covered over 50 countries with more than 100,000 Chinese users in half a year after its online service launched. It said that its monthly revenue has doubled on a monthly basis.
Many travel website giants are splitting up the market. China’s “Expedia”, Ctrip, merged with its rival Qunar and Alibaba’s travel business arm, Alitrip, is dominating hotel and air ticket booking. A group of new players entered this market in 2015, thanks to the Airbnb’s inspiration. According to Chinese mobile data analysis agency TalkingData, the most-downloaded travel apps are Airbnb’s Chinese rival, Tujia.com, “China’s Craigslist” Ganji.com’s subsidiary, Mayi.com, and Zhubaijia.com, a platform for Chinese people to book accommodations outside of China.
(Top photo from Baidu Images)