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Travel service provider for flights and high-speed trains lands USD 143 M

Houlitianhui, a Shenzhen-based science and technology company, received RMB 933 million (USD 143 million) in Series C financing, ChinaNews.com reported on Wednesday. This round of funding was led by Caissa Touristic, a Beijing-based travel agency affiliated with HNA Tourism Group, followed by Caissa Ska, China’s Civil Aviation Investment Fund and the Beijing Civil Aviation Investment Center.

The company received USD five million from Sequoia Capital China in Series A financing in January 2011 and USD 15 million from Matrix Partners and Greylock Partners in Series B financing in December 2011.

Founded in 2009, it focuses on business travel services and mobile community app development. Their main products include travel apps like “Hangkong Guanjia” or flight steward in English and “Gaotie Guanjia” or high-speed train steward that are used to find and book plane and train tickets, and a hotel booking platform. Among these, flight steward is the most popular flight management app in the market with around four million users. The total transactions on flight steward and high-speed train steward in 2015 were close to RMB 20 billion, realizing a compound annual growth of 333% since 2013, according to Chinese tech news website 36kr.com.

“The flight app’s online operation, client resources and user base can complement Caissa’s relatively mature offline product resources. The investment would help Caissa and even all of HNA Tourism Group expand their online market, obtain a new client base, redistribute tourism resources and form a closed loop of tourism service,” Liu Jiangtao, executive chairman and CEO of Caissa touristic, said.

The travel market has been growing for years in China. Domestic rivals of the company include Ctrip, Qunar.com, Tuniu.com and LY.com.

With the widespread adoption of smartphones, the mobile internet business is also exploding in China. According to data from Analysys, transactions in China’s online travel market amounted to RMB 97.98 billion in the fourth quarter of 2015, up by 110.6% year-over-year. The mobile travel market accounted for 72.4% of this total.

(Top photo from Baidu Images)

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