(Yicai Global) March 1 -- Hi Guides, overseas travel service platform and outbound chauffeured and tour guide service, best known for its charter services with Chinese-speaking tour guides, has raised USD50 million in its C-round financing today to spend on branding, user acquisition and talent cultivation.
Sequoia Capital China took the lead in this funding round, which also involved its original investor Matrix Partners China and Hexie Aiqi Investment Management (Beijing) Co., with CEC Capital Group acting as exclusive financial adviser, news site Jiemian.com reported.
"Capital from this financing round will mainly be used in three areas: firstly, brand building, user acquisition and market education, to be followed by talent cultivation and construction of resource pool in tourist destinations,", said Pan Fei, CEO of Hi Guides.
Hi Guides also secured nearly CNY400 million (USD63 million) in its B+ round funding last year led by Matrix Partners and GF Xinde Investment.
"Such huge investments come as recognition of our effort to develop charter services accompanied by Chinese-speaking tour guides as a travel mode and of the enormous development space behind it," said Pan. "The average transaction amount per customer on our platform is now 2.5 times that of the same period last year."
The company boasts more than 100,000 Chinese drivers serving as tour guides to provide overseas travel services across nearly 1,600 cities in more than 90 countries, show data on its website. As of November 2017, it had offered services to a total of 6 million Chinese tourists (person times) travelling abroad.
The investors also have high hopes about future prospects of the platform. "Given that Chinese tourists are gradually turning to overseas travel along with the consumption upgrade of the whole society, the Chinese market, where people who hold passports account for only about 10 percent of the total population, offers substantial potential," said Zheng Qingsheng, founding partner of Sequoia Capital China.