Ho Chi Minh City-based traveltech startup Triip announced that it has raised an undisclosed funding round from Japanese strategic investor Gaiax and Vietnamese angel investor Nguyen Duy.
The funding round followed a US$500,000 seed funding round that the startup has raised from venture capital firm Gobi Partners in February 2016.
In a press statement, Triip said that the funding has increased the company’s valuation from US$2.5 million in 2016 to US$10 million this year.
It will be used to support growth acceleration, ICO launch, and talent acquisition.
In addition to that, the startup also announced a strategic partnership with Startup Vietnam Foundation (SVF) and Innovation Capital Management (ICM). ICM played a role in securing the deal between Triip and Nguyen Duy.
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Founded in 2013 by husband and wife Ha Lam and Hai Ho, Triip is a platform that enables local citizens to sign up to become tour guides, offerings off-the-beat custom tour packages that major travel agencies may not have covered.
The tour packages range from exploration of local cultural elements such as art, music, food, history and scenery, as well as experiences such as adventure, technology, jewelry, or sports.
The startup screens all tour guides and experiences to ensure they are trustworthy and reliable.
“Our Triip Creators deliver their experiences from their heart, not for profit. They already have their own day jobs –so they are not commission-driven like many traditional tour guides. In this way, we believe that through Triip, travellers can have a more authentic and enjoyable travel experience as they meet real people to share passions and create friendships,” Ha Lam explained in a separate press statement.
The co-founders are known to have sold their own house in order to bootstrap their company.
In its local market, new investor Gaiax has also operated a startup with similar offerings as Triip.
For its ICO, Triip said that it aims to gain US$20 million and that it has already attracted participation for its private
sale from a number of their current investors.
” … The ICO is already considered to be one of the biggest ICOs in the travel sector for 2018,” the company stated.