SIG Asia, a venture capital investment arm of Susquehanna International Group (SIG) has participated in a $57-million Series D round of funding for Qyer.com, a Chinese outbound travel service provider.
SIG Asia invests at early, growth capital, and late stage level. It also invests in post-IPO firms.
Launched in 2004, Qyer.com provides travel information to Chinese outbound tourists, using an online travel guide and a forum through which travelers can share experiences. Additionally, the platform provides tips for independent travelers on a global basis. The company claims to maintain an online community of more than 60 million users.
Mainland Chinese travel tour operator Beijing U-Tour International committed $25 million for a 5.50 per cent stake through its Hong Kong subsidiary, according to a filing (in Mandarin). A tourism-focused private equity (PE) fund, incepted by Beijing U-Tour, also participated in this transaction, granting Beijing U-Tour a larger equity interest in the firm.
Posting a net profit of RMB525,899 (US$80,466) in 2015, with revenue reported at RMB16.16 million (US$2.44 million), Qyer also reported revenue reaching RMB18.98 million, with net profit of RMB417 million for the Q1 to Q3 period in 2015.
Qyer had previously raised a Series A round from Trustbridge Partners in 2011, a Shanghai-based firm with assets under management (AUM) of US$2 billion, which conducts early-stage venture capital (VC) deals. With the establishment of a presence in Boston, Massachusetts with the addition of Chris Wilfong as a VP in June 2014, they have extended their footprint in the US. Previously, Wilfong was a consultant for Bain & Co and a director of portfolio operations for a merchant bank, Two River Group Holdings.
Qyer’s further rounds came from the Alibaba Group and SIG Asia in 2013 and 2014, with Trustbridge participating in these rounds. Following this Series C investment, Alibaba maintains a 24.7 per cent stake in Qyer, while SIG has 7.64 per cent equity interest and Trustbridge owns 16.3 per cent stake in Qyer..
According to Qyer, the latest infusion of capital will be used to enhance its product profile and big data business.