Korean Travel startup My Real Trip gets fresh investment of $36 million amidst pandemic slowdown

It is cheerful news for the travel industry amidst the massive slowdown that has happened because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Korean travel startup My Real Trip gets a new investment from domestic and international investors. My Real Trip is South Korea’s leading online travel platform. It has received 43.2 billion won or $36 million in funding recently.

Founded in 2012, the startup has been offering travellers everything needed for great trips and vacations. My Real Trip is a reliable platform for Koreans to book tickets, accommodations, hotels, guides, etc. The new funding comes from its existing investor Altos Ventures, along with IMM Investment and Smilegate Investment.

Startup to upgrade technology and employ more people

My Real Trip plans to use the fresh funding to upgrade its technology and hire more people. The startup wants to improvise its search and recommendation algorithm and the process in which users can customize their itinerary such as flights, accommodations, tours, activities, and more based on their preference. My Real Trip also plans to increase its staffing, which currently stands at 140 employees, including 70 developers.

This was the fourth consecutive investment from Altos and IMM, and the fifth from Smilegate. There were also new investors, including state-lender Korea Development Bank, Singapore-based Axiom Asia Private Capital, France-based Partech Partners, and US-based Tekton Ventures. Since its inception in 2012, the company has raised 82.4 billion won ($68.6 million) to date, including $ 15.2 million in January 2019.

My Real Trip is a 360-degree online platform for travel, providing a range of travel products and services such as accommodations, flights, package trips, activities, etc. Users can create an itinerary based on their preferences, and the platform helps to match the user with the best suited local guide.

My Real Trip has planned over 7.6 million users have planned trips and the offers over 2,000 products for domestic travels and over 23,300 products for overseas travels across 780 cities worldwide. The company posted a record-breaking 360 billion won about $ 30 billion in transaction volume in 2019. In June 2019, the company began to offer virtual tours where seasoned guides across the world introduced travel destinations in real-time.

 

 

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Investors optimistic about growth

The global travel industry is facing a sluggish time because of the pandemic situation this year. The slowdown affected My Real Trip as well, with 90% of its revenue is from overseas travels. However, the startup’s strategy to promote domestic travel has helped the company. “My Real Trip was quick to transition its focus to domestic travels, and fortunately, the domestic travel business quadrupled compared to pre-coronavirus,” according to a media statement by Dong-gun Lee, the chief executive offer of My Real Trip.

The travel industry investors are holding an optimistic view with the restructuring formula and are providing funds to promising startups like My Real Trip. “It will be crucial for online travel platforms to offer as many products as possible to increase transaction amount since their main source of income is based on commission fees,” said Sung-bae Ji, the chief executive officer at IMM Investment. He added, “It may take time, but we are confident that My Real Trip will be at the forefront of the post-pandemic recovery.”

“Traveling will make a comeback,” Han Kim, the Managing Director of Altos Ventures, posted on his Facebook. He added, “Teams that are prepared will be able to take over the market.”

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