KKday eyes Malaysia market, banks on Islamic tourism

Taiwanese e-commerce platform KKday is eyeing Malaysia for its expansion plans. According to a release, it is targeting a revenue of US$5 million for the market in 2017.

It said it hopes to be the number one tours and activities platform in Malaysia for DIY travellers. A wanderlust for travel among Malaysians, its growing population and a thriving economy are just among the key factors that KKday has chosen to expand into the country.

“The expanding Malay and Chinese communities in Malaysia serve as the driving impetus for our expansion into the country. Much of Malaysia remains unrepresented in the global tourism market and the country’s growing population and thriving economy means that people will be more willing to spend on short escapes,” said KKday CEO Ming Chen.

“Ultimately we wish to become the number one  choice of tours and activities for Malaysian DIY travellers when they travel abroad,” he added.

In addition, the CEO also said Islamic tourism will be playing a significant role in its expansion.

Islamic tourism is also a part of our agenda and we will be developing sightseeing tours and unique customer experiences exclusively catered to the needs of Muslim travellers.

Sharing his thoughts on Malaysia’s unique tourism portfolio, Chen believes that the multicultural and ethic market of both Chinese and Muslim tourists houses the perfect environment for the dynamic start-up to grow.

A travel industry veteran with over 15 years of experiences in the online travel industry, Chen founded eztravel.com.tw in 2000, which it was then acquired by Chinese travel agency Ctrip. He was also the co-founder of startravel.com.tw in 2003 which went public in 2008. More recently in 2010, Chen took over ezfly.com and led the company to list in 3 years.

KKday recently secured US$7 million in Series A+ funding led by Singapore venture capital (VC) firm Monk Hill Ventures and Taiwan-based VC firm AppWorks. Both firms are noted for their forays into high-growth technology start-ups with Appworks having over 305 start-ups and 660 founders under its alumni network, according to KKday. Other VCs include Mindworks Ventures, Cathay Ventures and Substances Capital.

Since its official launch in 2014, KKday has expanded to Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and now, Malaysia. The start-up primarily focus on destinations in Asia but has extended to Europe and America, providing travellers with over 6,000 travel experiences from 53 countries and 170 cities all over the world.

The company officially debut its online travel platform in Malaysia on April 19 with its #flywithpama campaign to Taiwan.