Singapore: Monk’s Hill Ventures and AppWorks invest $7m in KKday

Taiwan-headquartered online travel discovery platform KKday, which expanded into Singapore earlier this year, has closed a $7 million in Series A+ funding led by Monk’s Hill Ventures and AppWorks

Launched in Taiwan in early 2015, KKday specialises in travel experiences and offers more than 6000 experiences from 53 cities worldwide. It also provides this in languages such as Japanese, Korean, English, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese.

Monk’s Hill Ventures is a Singapore-based venture capital firm that invests into high-growth technology startups at the post-seed stage. AppWorks is a Taiwan-based accelerator with 305 startups and 660 founders in its alumni network.

Existing investors who participated in the latest transaction that the travel e-commerce platform closed includes Hong Kong-based Mindworks Ventures, Cathay Venture and Hong Kong-based Substance Capital. The latest investment will finance international growth and strengthen its position in Asia’s online travel industry.

Mindworks is a subsidiary of Cathay Financial Holdings while Substance Capital maintains a single VC/PE fund and three hedge funds.

To date, the venture maintains offices in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Korea and Japan. It opened its Singapore office following the closing of a $4.5 million Series A investment in September 2015 that was aimed at funding its pan-Asian growth.

For Q3 2016, KKDay has claimed to have seen sales growth 9x the amount recorded in Q3 2015. If true, this growth could make KKDay a complementary acquisition for any number of online travel agents (OTAs) in the market, with the recent acquisition of Skyscanner by China’s Ctrip a possible sign of things to come. However, there are challenges that come with such an approach.

In the future, KKDay may also see competition from Google in the future, though this is unlikely, given how Google generates revenues from travel advertising.

Regardless, there is still significant room to grow for KKDay, given current trends in the online travel market. For now, KKDay is likely to focus on growth in Southeast Asia, given growth rates in the region.

In an interaction with Web in Travel, VP (Research) of travel industry research firm Phocuswright, Lorraine Sileo, observed: “Smaller markets like Indonesia, Taiwan and Thailand are growing rapidly. Indonesia will be the fastest growing APAC online travel market through 2020. Indonesia, however, will account for just 2% of the APAC online travel market through 2020.”

Also Read:

Taiwan-based KKday secures $4.5m Series A for Asia expansion

China’s Ctrip.com to buy Khazanah-backed Skyscanner in $1.74b deal

MakeMyTrip to buy Ibibo Group’s India travel business for $720m

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.