On­line travel busi­ness gains help from an­gel in­vestor

The New Zealand Herald - - BUSINESS - Holly Ryan

Kiwi tech com­pany Fei­jip­iao is ex­pand­ing in New Zealand and eye­ing other mar­kets af­ter clos­ing a multi-mil­lion-dol­lar an­gel in­vest­ment round.

The com­pany, founded in 2016 by Peter Li, is a Chi­nese lan­guage on­line travel busi­ness, of­fer­ing flight book­ings across mul­ti­ple air­lines.

The web­site of­fers com­pet­i­tive fares and mul­ti­ple pay­ment so­lu­tions, in ei­ther Chi­nese yuan or New Zealand dol­lars, with au­to­mated search, book­ing and tick­et­ing.

The in­vest­ment was headed by The Ice­house and Chi­nese-led an­gel fund Eden Ven­tures — its first in­vest­ment.

Led by Chi­nese ven­ture cap­i­tal­ists and en­trepreneurs, Eden Ven­tures fo­cuses on high-per­form­ing start-ups, with spe­cific in­ter­est in serv­ing Chi­nese in New Zealand or en­abling New Zealand founders to launch into the Chi­nese mar­ket.

The fund­ing val­ues Fei­jip­iao at be­tween $5 mil­lion and $10 mil­lion, and will be used to hire staff, open its first New Zealand of­fice in Auck­land and fund fur­ther growth, as well as pre­pare the busi­ness for ex­pan­sion into Aus­tralia and other mar­kets.

The com­pany was al­ready bring­ing in rev­enue of about $900,000 per month, Li said, adding he ex­pected this to hit $1m in the com­ing few months.

Ice­house fund man­ager Ja­son Wang said both groups had in­vested based on Fei­jip­iao’s growth in the five months since it launched, as well as the po­ten­tial they saw.

“In three months, fei­jip­iao.co.nz have trans­acted mil­lions of dol­lars with­out a phys­i­cal of­fice, it’s all in the cloud.

“The re­sults speak for them­selves — this is a group of the right peo­ple do­ing the right thing in the right mar­ket.”

The com­pany’s suc­cess had been helped by mil­len­ni­als in­flu­enc­ing the pur­chas­ing be­hav­iours of their par­ents, who tended to use more tra­di­tional travel agents Li said.

The in­vest­ment would en­able the com­pany to con­tinue its ex­pan­sion as well as pro­vid­ing strate­gic value for the firm.

“Our team has built a strong foun­da­tion in New Zealand to pre­pare our­selves for ex­pan­sion into global mar­kets with es­tab­lished Chi­nese com­mu­ni­ties, and in­ter­na­tional stu­dents from China.

“By part­ner­ing with Eden Ven­tures and The Ice­house, we can tap into their ex­per­tise of form­ing long-term growth strate­gies for global ex­pan­sion, and sup­port­ing tech­nol­ogy driven com­pa­nies.”

Pic­ture / Sup­plied

Ice­house fund man­ager Ja­son Wang (left) with Peter Li, founder of Fei­jip­iao.

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