Korea’s STIC Ventures leads $2.5m Series A in hotel booking app Go2Joy Vietnam

Tea service in a hotel room. Photo: Pixabay

Go2Joy Vietnam (formerly Appro Mobile), which operates hotel booking app Go2Joy, has raised $2.5 million in a Series A funding round led by STIC Ventures, the venture investment division of South Korean private equity firm STIC Investments, Go2Joy CEO Simon Byun confirmed to DealStreetAsia.

Wonik Investment Partners, Wadiz Platform and existing investor KB Investment also participated in this round.

Appro Mobile was set up in 2012 by Korean entrepreneur Simon Byun, one of the founding members of S-Fone, the CDMA telco project of South Korean telecom giant SK Telecom.

Go2Joy allows customers to book hotels by the hour or overnight and pay through e-wallet Payoo, Momo, Payoo and OnePay. Go2Joy claims to be growing at over 23 per cent every month and boasts an inventory of 1,000 hotels.

The company, which aims to cater to 1 million users within the first half of 2020, plans to target Thailand and the Philippines in its next phase of growth.

Go2Joy was recently selected for TIPS, a Korean government tech incubator programme.

The fresh funding will be used for sales and marketing initiatives and setting up its offline hotel business, Simon told us in an interaction.

Go2Joy had earlier raised a pre-Series A funding round from KB Investment and Invention Lab, one of the leading startup accelerators in South Korea. To date, the startup has raised a total of $3 million.

STIC Ventures invests in small and mid-sized venture companies in Korea, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Go2Joy marks the STIC Investments’ second deal in Vietnam after e-commerce platform Tiki.

In 2018, STIC raised its fourth pan-Asia growth equity fund, spun off its venture capital arm to form STIC Ventures, and launched real estate fund STIC Alternative.

STIC Investments has also stepped up its Southeast Asia footprint with a new office in Jakarta in addition to Ho Chi Minh City. It also has offices in Taipei, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

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.