The online travel market in Southeast Asia is projected to surge to an estimated worth of USD 44 billion (SGD 59 billion) by 2025, a significant increase since pre-COVID times.
SINGAPORE – ZUZU Hospitality Solutions Pte. Ltd. (ZUZU Hospitality), a prominent revenue platform provider for independent hotels, announced the successful completion of an oversubscribed USD 9 million (SGD 12 million) Series B round led by SoftBank Ventures Asia, with participation from Atinum Partners and existing investors Wooshin Venture Investment, Visor Ventures and JG Digital Equity Ventures.
“We are thrilled to announce our Series B funding round,” said Founder and CEO, Vikram Malhi. “The round’s oversubscription reflects the strong confidence our investors have in our vision and capabilities. This substantial financial boost will enable us to innovate our offerings further, accelerate our growth trajectory and support more independent hotels in increasing their revenue.”
The online travel market in Southeast Asia is projected to surge to an estimated worth of USD 44 billion (SGD 59 billion) by 2025, a significant increase since pre-COVID times. This shows that the online travel industry is on a trajectory to rebound from the pandemic, and this funding couldn’t come at a better time for ZUZU Hospitality; the travel tech is poised to seize opportunities arising from the upswing.
A fundamentally strong and capital-efficient business
There’s been an overall slowdown in startup funding across the globe including Southeast Asia due to a challenging macroeconomic landscape. As such, this latest investment underscores investors’ confidence in ZUZU Hospitality’s unique value proposition and business fundamentals. The other critical factor in the funding decision was the company’s ability to not just survive but thrive through the pandemic which brought the entire travel industry to a standstill.
“It’s a tough time to be raising funds but there is money sitting on the sideline ready to be deployed in capital-efficient businesses with strong unit economics. We are one such business that has managed to not only come out stronger post pandemic but also scaled with positive unit economics with a fraction of the relative capital.” shared Malhi.
Over the past three years, amidst the pandemic, ZUZU Hospitality has made significant efforts to improve its products by focusing on simplifying and automating revenue management tools. These improvements have proven instrumental in driving revenue growth for their hotel partners. The company also introduced a new line of products specifically designed to enhance direct distribution capabilities. This includes creating a customised direct website and booking engine for each hotel partner, complete with localised payment platforms tailored to each market’s unique requirements.
Furthermore, recognising the challenges faced by independent hotels in managing payments, the company established a comprehensive payment platform enabling seamless payment management with all OTA partners and guests, mitigating the issue of payment discrepancies.
Harris Yang, Vice President from SoftBank Ventures Asia commented, “We are very impressed by the strength of the management team which is evident in their ability to navigate the tough Covid-19 crisis, and we believe in the long-term potential of their business, which has proven to be fundamentally robust. ZUZU Hospitality’s innovative solutions are poised to drive significant growth in the hospitality industry, and we’re looking forward to being part of this journey.”
Capitalising on travel tech resurgence, ZUZU Hospitality sets its sights on lucrative opportunities
On the back of this round of funding, the travel tech startup plans to double its hotel partner count across the region but with a keen focus on India, and reach an impressive milestone of 5000 partners by the end of 2024. Furthermore, the company plans to make strategic investments in AI tools to improve pricing, automate guest management and improve partner experience.
Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.