Lvmama scores $80M funding to get a leg up in China’s crowded tourism market
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Photo Credit: Morten Knutsen / Flickr

Lvmama is embroiled in an ongoing race-to-the-bottom price war with its competitors. It’s an extremely crowded market, but also one that’s growing at a rapid clip

Tech in Asia

Lvmama, a Chinese tourism booking site, has received $80 million in series E funding from Jinjiang International Group, according to an internal email leaked to Chinese startup blog 36kr.

Lvmama is one of the oldest and largest DIY travel and tourism sites in China (tourism in China is typically split between group tours and private DIY businesses). The site aggregates and sells tours, attraction tickets, visa services, trips to resorts, and cruises. Most of the offerings are based in Asia.

Jinjiang International is one of China’s largest tourism conglomerates, best known for owning and managing over 1,600 hotels. It also owns a high-end passenger car service, a tourism booking chain with 51 brick-and-mortar outlets, and other branches involved in real estate, finance, and other industries.

The fresh funding comes after a $49 million series D funding round from GX Capital in October. Founded in 2008, Lvmama’s previous funding rounds include a $15 million series C round from South River Capital and Sequoia Capital in 2011, a roughly $15 million series B round from Sequoia and CDH Fund in 2010, and a $8 million series A from HuaQiao Capital and DoJane Capital in 2009.

Price war

Lvmama is embroiled in an ongoing race-to-the-bottom price war with its competitors. It’s an extremely crowded market, but also one that’s growing at a rapid clip. Last month, rival tourism booking site Tuniu received a $500 million injection from JD, Hony Capital, DCM Ventures, Ctrip, Temasek Holdings, and Sequoia Capital. JD, China’s second-biggest e-commerce company backed by WeChat maker Tencent, is now Tuniu’s biggest shareholder.

Lvmama’s lengthy list of competitors include heavily funded rivals like Tuniu, Ly.com, 17U, and Yikuaiqu. It’s also up against larger travel companies like Qunar and Ctrip, which are backed by domestic web giants Baidu and Tencent, respectively. And don’t forget about Alibaba’s growing number of travel merchants setting up shop on its Tmall and Taobao marketplaces.

36kr reports that an initial public offering is on Lvmama’s agenda.

H/t: 36kr

Editing by Michael Tegos 

This post was originally published on Tech in Asia.

Featured Image Credit: Morten Knutsen / Flickr

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