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Korean travel company Myrealtrip raises $56M on travel resurgence.

MyRealTrip is the newest travel tech business to capitalize on post-pandemic tourism. The Seoul-based firm said today that it secured $56.7 million (75.6 billion KRW) in Series F equity capital to accelerate business and product innovation and recruiting.

According to the UN World Tourism Organization, global tourism returned to pre-pandemic levels in Q3 2023. Travel tech businesses are again preparing to expand rapidly.

“The travel industry was fragmented 12 years ago in South Korea, and there was no platform that provided travel information,” Myrealtrip CEO Donggun Lee told Eltrys in an exclusive interview. Now the 12-year-old startup, with 7.9 million South Korean users, wants to be a travel super app, booking flights, lodgings, activities, and local transportation.

Through partnerships with 2,000 travel agencies, hotel platforms, and airfare comparison sites like Expedia, Agoda, and Viator, the firm allowed tourists to book tours, activities, restaurants, local transportation, hotels, and Airbnb-type lodgings worldwide.

Lee told Eltrys that its valuation has tripled since its 2020 Series D stock round. Previous media estimates put the company’s value at above 200 billion KRW in 2020.

Lee also reported that MyRealtrip sales have tripled since 2022. The company’s 2023 GMV was $746 million (1 trillion KRW). Lee said it wants to increase GMV and earn $12 million in EBITDA this year.

The Korean startup struggled during the epidemic lockdown, like most travel firms. The corporation believes its 2020 capital and 2022 debt funding will ensure its survival post-pandemic.

To survive the previous two difficult years, MyRealTrip targeted domestic tourism and offered additional options, including group trips and corporate travel, Lee added.

The corporation expanded domestic tourism and made smart acquisitions. In 2022, Myrealtrip purchased Startrip to catch post-pandemic overseas travelers to South Korea. This travel company enables users to find and book K-pop-themed destinations, including BTS music video filming sites. Lee aims to spin out Startrip to strengthen its service using modern technologies.

Myrealtrip also invested in IwaTrip, a Korean travel company that helps families locate places to go, and O-Peace, a digital nomad co-working and co-living facility.

To compete with SoftBank-backed Klook, which received $210 million last month; Yanolja; Agoda; and Airbnb, it will need technology to attract inbound and outgoing travelers and international visitors.

Lee said the firm, which utilizes AI chatbots for customer care, will spend more on technology, including AI, before its 2026 IPO.

Returning investors BlueRun Ventures Korea and IMM Investment co-led the round, which brings its total raised to $113 million (150 billion KRW) in equity and $39 million in debt since 2012. The Series F included Vanderbilt University’s endowment fund, Korelya Capital, Altos Ventures, Partech Partners, Smilegate, and SV Investment, as well as returning investors.

Eltrys Team
Author: Eltrys Team

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