Tujia.com, Airbnb Rival, Raises $300 Million for Rapid Expansion

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China’s most prominent short-term property rental firm, Tujia.com had raised US$300 million from investors, valuing it at more than US$1.5 billion as it looks to tap growing demand from Chinese tourists for independent travel. It was said in a statement confirming an earlier report.

“Funds would be used to help improve and standardize the firm’s accommodation, and it would further invest in the domestic high-end real estate market and foreign markets.” Tujia’s founder Luo Jun said in a statement.

“China’s travel accommodation sharing industry, of which Tujia is the leading player, will gradually be fully accepted as a travel option,” The associate with G Street Capital Cai Jiayi said.

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(image source: tnooz)

Tujia is focused on taking its rivalry with Airbnb global, including in Japan which happens to be one of the most popular destinations for Chinese people. This start-up has set up his goal to increase the number of properties available for holiday rental to about 100,000 by 2019 from 10,000 now, said Tomoko Suzuki, the chief executive officer of the Japanese unit in an interview. They further informed that the start-up now includes more than 10,000 foreign destinations. Tujia also claims that it has racked up 180 million downloads to date with several hundred thousand customers.

Ctrip.com International Ltd and All-Stars Investment led the investment round. Also China Renaissance’s New Economy Fund, Glade Brook Capital, and G Street Capital also participated. The accommodation operations of China are fighting house-by-house to upend their catalogs and win more users. They are leaning on local know-how and relationships to stave off foreign giants like Airbnb, which has successfully captured the position of a key global player in the space and now plans a more aggressive approach, after taking it little slow in past years.