Beijing Zhiketong Technology Co., Ltd, an agency providing digital marketing strategies and tools for the hotels, entertainment, and travel and leisure sectors, has garnered $50 million in a Series D round, per a company statement on Thursday.
The fundraising was co-led by Vision Plus Capital and CYTS Hongqi Fund, a joint fund co-launched by China’s leading tour operator CYTS, Sequoia Capital China, and IDG Capital in 2017.
The funding round roped in two new investors, Asia mid-market-centered private equity firm Axiom Asia, and Shanghai-based Yijing Capital, while existing investors Sequoia Capital China, and Shunwei Capital re-upped.
Vision Plus Capital along with CYTS Hongqi Fund, Sequoia Capital China, IDG Capital, Shunwei Capital, and Lightspeed China Partners collectively seeded 300 million yuan ($45 million) in Zhiketong’s Series C round in August 2019. Lightspeed had also invested in Zhiketong’s Series A+ round in June 2018 and Series B round in June 2019.
Proceeds from the current round will be used for product and service innovations, market expansion, business development, and digitalization transformation.
Zhiketong, set up in 2014, is designed to be a specialist in software-as-a-service (SaaS) and internet-driven digital marketing services. It primarily helps hotels to initiate and conduct online sales and marketing activities on their official WeChat accounts.
Catalysed by Tencent’s social media and lifestyle platform WeChat, Zhiketong helps to drive users and businesses for the hospitality industry through the integrations of direct sales, digital payments, and after-service.
With headquarters in Beijing, and over 40 divisions across the country, Zhiketong claims to have served more than 17,000 hotels.
“The capacity of digitalization has significantly contributed to enterprise innovation as the digital economy has become an engine for business growth, and the direct sales hotel industry is drawing attention,” said Jason Wang, an associate partner of Lightspeed China Partners.
According to The Chinese Academy of Industry Economy Research, China’s market size of the direct-sales hotel industry amounted to 254 billion yuan ($38 billion) in 2019. Zhiketong is also backed by tech-driven Gobi Partners China and Nasdaq-listed Chinese online travel service provider eLong.