Chao-Kang (CK) Cheng, Founder and CEO at AsiaYo

Taiwan-based travel accommodation platform AsiaYo has raised a US$7 million funding in a Series B round led by Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund and China Development Financial, with participation from Darwin Ventures and Delta Ventures.

The company will use the newly-raised funding to expand its platform to Singapore and Malaysia in early 2019; it will also be launching a Japanese site next year.

In addition, a portion of the capital will be channelled towards product development and talent acquisition.

Launched in 2014 by a former financial analyst, CK Cheng, AsiaYo manages over 60,000  listings — consisting of hotels and rental homes — across 60 cities, and serving 300,000 users.

The company has partnered with several travel brands including Hong Kong Airlines, KKday, Neppan, Taiwan Host Association and Rakuten LIFULL STAY, to expand its range of vacation homes.

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To better serve its users and encourage them to use its services, AsiaYo has developed AYSort, an AI-powered algorithm to analyze user preferences and develop curated recommendations for its users. The company also has a multi-lingual customer service team, who can be reached on major communication apps such as LINE, Facebook, WeChat.

AsiaYo’s platform is currently available in Korea, Hong Kong, and Thailand. Currently, 60 per cent of the site’s bookings come from outside of Taiwan.

“With rapid economic development across Asia, we have seen a significant rise in inter-regional tourism – AsiaYo has capitalized on this trend, demonstrating its growth potential,” said Andrew Lee, Executive Director of the Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund.

“We’re currently working with AsiaYo to further develop technological capabilities in the travel industry,” he added

“We’ve always aspired to be the very best vacation rental platform in Asia, bringing together a network of global partners, cutting-edge technology and localized services to inspire travellers to step out of their comfort zones and uncover the beauty hidden in this region,” said Cheng.

Image Credit: AsiaYo