Luo Jun, CEO of Tujia, China’s biggest holiday home rental site, seemed so excited about his firm’s US$100 million series C funding that he revealed it on Weibo almost immediately after he got the cash. “I got up early and saw a mail saying the company’s $100 million series C funds arrived yesterday,” he posted this morning, accompanied by a photo of a humble Chinese breakfast of rice porridge.
But that means no other details are available for now. The Airbnb-esque Tujia got series A funding in May 2012, followed by series B at the start of 2013. Both those rounds amounted to RMB 400 million (US$64.2 million).
Tujia’s series B saw participation from an all-star array of investors: GGV Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, CDH Ventures, and Qiming Venture Partners. Plus, China’s biggest travel booking site, Ctrip (NASDAQ:CTRP), contributed funds, along with America’s HomeAway (NASDAQ:AWAY). We’ve reached out to Tujia and HomeAway for more details on this blockbuster investment and we’ll update if we hear back (Update: Carl Shepherd, HomeAway co-founder and chief strategy and development officer, says, “Since our first investment more than two years ago, Tujia has proven there is growing domestic demand for the value, privacy and unique experiences short-term rentals offer, both in and outside China. We are excited to join our co-investors to advance this excellent management team and business, which is much like HomeAway’s.”).
Tujia now has holiday rentals listed in about 130 Chinese cities along with an extensive international selection – in over 60 destinations – furnished by its American partner, HomeAway.
While Chinese rivals like Mayi and Xiaozhou – the latter of which got US$15 million in funding earlier this week – focus on bargain rentals for the lower end of the domestic travel market, Tujia is aimed at the mid-range and high-end with better quality properties.
Airbnb has over 1,000 listings in China right now, but the site is in English and it seems targeted only at incoming travelers.