ByeCity, a Chinese outbound traveling service, announced that it has secured nearly $20 million in financing from Alibaba Group and CBC Capital.
The company received around $10 million from JAFCO Asia and Investor Growth Capital in 2008 and an undisclosed amount from TaishanXD in 2011. The capital raised will be used for network construction, branding, and enhancement of user experiences.
Founded in 2000, ByeCity was a pioneer in the Chinese outbound traveling industry. ByeCity gives priority to its visa application service over other services like package tours, hotel reservations, and flight tickets.
The company provides simple and easy visa application services with a success rate of 99.8 percent, according to ByeCity. The startup said it processed the visa applications of more than 400,000 tourists in 2013, rocketing 471 percent year-over-year from 2012 and 1,233 percent compared to 2011.
It also pledges to reimburse customers if their visa applications fail.
Alibaba Group has made several forays into the online tourism industry, keeping stride with the booming development of this territory. It established a travel department last year by integrating relevant businesses like Taobao Travel and then investing in social travel app 117go and outbound travel service Qyer. Etao, the shopping search service under Alibaba Group, also started a hotel search service last year.
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