Travel TechnologyE-commerce companies offered chance to go head-to-head with existing travel agencies and OTAs

Taiwanese start-up says now everyone can become a travel agent

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TravelSkope says its turnkey All-in-One OTA Solution is unique in that it allows its partners and clients to launch an OTA "overnight”.
TravelSkope says its turnkey All-in-One OTA Solution is unique in that it allows its partners and clients to launch an OTA "overnight”. Photo Credit: seb_ra/GettyImages

Kei Shibata, CEO of VRG, noted, “Having operated Travel.jp in the OTA realm for over 15 years, we have yet to see a business model as innovative as TravelSkope's. We see a real opportunity for the team to fundamentally change the travel industry in emerging markets.”

Taipei-based start-up TravelSkope has raised US$297,000 from a round of seed funding which, one of its backers says, it will use to “fundamentally change the travel industry in emerging markets”.

Funding has come from angel investors across Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan and New Zealand. 

Notable among the backers is Venture Republic Global (VRG), Japan's leading travel search engine, Nelson Wang, general partner at Zino Ventures, Shannon Chaluangco, Lichi Wu, industry veteran and individual investor, Yani Lee, ecosystem builder and advisors to several accelerators and start-up programs, such as Asia Beat, TechCrunch ShengZhen, Shift and Barsa, Andrew Vranjes and Tom Duncan of KDV Holdings, and Sung-Min Chung, a seasoned technology investment banking and private equity veteran based in Hong Kong.

Kei Shibata, CEO of VRG, noted, “Having operated Travel.jp in the OTA realm for over 15 years, we have yet to see a business model as innovative as TravelSkope's. We see a real opportunity for the team to fundamentally change the travel industry in emerging markets.”

In a statement, TravelSkope said the backers’ bullish outlook on South-east Asia's travel sector, notably South-east Asia's favourable demographic trends, rapid urbanisation and rising income, coupled with the company’s unique business model, providing a "Shopify" solution for launching OTAs (online travel agencies) were the primary reasons why the investors decided to back the Taiwanese start-up.

The company plans to utilise the proceeds to establish an office in Singapore, where it is incorporated, and expand into South-east Asian market. 

The company has recruited Tiffany Wu from Pinehurst Advisors, the company's seed round investor, to serve as CFO. 

TravelSkope will use the funding to land additional partners in South-east Asia and build on traction beyond its native Taiwan. Currently, the company counts one of Taiwan's two major airlines and a top three Taiwanese e-commerce company as clients.

TravelSkope says its turnkey All-in-One OTA Solution is unique in that it allows its partners and clients to launch an OTA "overnight”. 

For any partner with existing consumer traffic, TravelSkope allows the clients to add a new revenue stream “almost as effortlessly as turning on a virtual tap”. 

TravelSkope offers a portfolio of modules, e.g. car rental, hotel booking, airline ticketing, etc., allowing its partners to choose the services they want to offer. The technology stack is developed entirely in-house and, TravelSkope says, is priced at a fraction of the cost of industry incumbents. 

Peter Chen, co-founder and president of the company, said, "With our software, All-in-One OTA Solution, we are levelling the playing field for media and e-commerce companies to go head-to-head with existing travel agencies and OTAs. 

“Currently, media companies are only able to monetise through referrals, but going forward, media companies would be able to capture the full economic value of a travel-related transaction.”

Founded in 2013, TravelSkope previously launched Hellowings.com and Savvytickets.com, and received Seed funding in 2016 from Pinehurst Advisors, KK Fund and COENT Venture Partners.


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