Chinese home rental service Tujia has announced today US$300 million in series D financing at a valuation of more than $1 billion USD, adding a new title to China’s lengthening list of billion-dollar-valued tech startups. All-Stars Investment led this round with participation from Ascott and existing investors.
The financing will push Tujia’s total funding to over $464 million USD. The site raised a $100 million USD Series C last year after receiving a combined 400 million RMB ($64 million USD) in Series A and Series B from GGV Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, CDH Ventures, Qiming Venture Partners, Ctrip and HomeAway.
The new cash is earmarked to help the startup links online and offline resources, improves user experience and expand brand promotion, according to Luo Jun, CEO of the company.
The startup, previously focused on a B2C model, launched a C2C platform to enrich its business lines and announced plans to build overseas headquarters to target the cross-border travel market for Chinese abroad. The startup is also initiating a “campaign” to connect offline home rental partners under the support of Ascott, operators of white-collar apartment and real estate crowdfunding platform 51wofang.
Like Airbnb, Tujia connects property owners with travelers looking for alternatives to hotels. Through more than three years of operation, the site now operates in 255 Chinese cities and 138 overseas cities with more than 310,000 holiday rental homes available on the platform, according to the company.
China’s shot-term rental market is growing at a staggering 159.3% YOY and is worth an estimated 10.5 billion RMB in 2015, according to data from iResearch. The huge market potential has given rise to several domestic players including Ganji-backed Airbnb clone, Mayi.com, and Xiaozhu, the latter of which just secured $60 million USD in round C funding. While both these offerings focus on budget rentals for the lower end of the domestic travel market, Tujia is targeting at middle to high-end Chinese travelers who are looking for a higher-end rental.