China outbound travel service ByeCity raises $20 million
The Beijing-based company will use the fund to improve the user experience, and branding.
ByeCity’s services include visa processing, reservation for holiday packages, hotels, flights and car rentals.
The company claims that the success rate for its visa processing service is at 99.8%. In cases where the company is not able to get visa for passengers, it refunds the amount.
In 2013, ByeCity processed over 400,000 visas, an increase of 471% compared to 2012, and an increase of 1,233% compared to 2011.
CBC’s other investments in travel industry include a $10 million investment in China-based travel experience sharing service Breadtrip, China-based vacation rental service Tujia (secured $64 million in Series B), and China-based car rental mobile app service Yongche.
Alibaba’s travel industry presence
Again in July 2013, Alibaba-owned Etao (a shopping search engine) launched a hotel metasearch engine, a competitor to Qunar, the country’s biggest travel metasearch engine which is majority owned by Baidu.
Alibaba’s Taobao launched a dedicated travel portal in 2010 which is positioned in the similar business of Chinese OTA giant, Ctrip.