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Rumor: Travel Group Buy Site Obtains USD 5 Mln in Funding

Qianlong, 1/17/11

Shenzhen-based travel services group-buy site 17Yezi.com has received USD 5 mln in venture capital investment from Israeli SNS investor Koolanoo.

17Yezi is a travel group-buy site established by senior managers of Chinese online travel service providers Ctrip (Nasdaq: CTRP) and Mangocity with investment from Chinese hotel groups. The site offers group-buy discounts on more than 10,000 rooms in more than 300 hotels around the country. 17Yezi's strategy calls for it to move from its current hotel group-buy offerings to gradually expand into group-buy discounts on plane tickets, scenic venue tickets, and other services, ultimately providing group-buy discounts for services covering every aspect of independent travel.

Koolanoo previously invested a total of more than USD 50 mln in Chinese SNS 360Quan. 17Yezi is the company's second investment in China, and Koolanoo plans for its total investment to exceed USD 30 mln. The first round of funding has been confirmed to be USD 5 mln.

Editor's Note: Several industry sources have confirmed that Koolanoo's Mainland China operations were shuttered this past summer. In a telephone interview with Marbridge Consulting, a 17Yezi representative surnamed Liu, who oversees website operations for the company, confirmed that 17Yezi had received a USD 5 mln investment from Koolanoo's Hong Kong-based subsidiary. 17Yezi also said that Malaysian-born CEO Raynic Lam, who later immigrated to Canada, formerly served as marketing director for the Greater China region at US-based travel site Expedia.

Keywords: 17Yezi Internet funding Ctrip Mangocity online travel Koolanoo CTRP e-commerce group buying Raynic Lam

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