Business / Companies

Alibaba invests in outbound visa service ByeCity

By MENG JING ( Updated: 2014-03-13 22:06

ByeCity, a leading outbound travel service provider, announced on Wednesday that it secured nearly $20 million in its second round of financing from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and CBC Capital, a private equity in China.

The Beijing-based ByeCity, which provides what it calls a simple and easy online visa application for people who want to travel abroad, said it will spend the funding on building an online platform, branding and improving user experiences.

"ByeCity has built up its unique strength in visa application services. The company will maintain its current business advantage and add more tourism services to better meet the needs of outbound travelers," said Zeng Song, CEO of ByeCity.

Taobao Travel, a vertical channel of Alibaba's e-commerce platform, is a major player in China's tourism industry. It has been reported that with Alibaba investing in ByeCity, their cooperation will boost Alibaba's position in online-to-offline business.

Founded in 2000 as one of the first companies in the Chinese outbound traveling industry that provides online services, ByeCity said that it processed visa applications for more than 400,000 travelers in 2013. The number increased by 471 percent year-on-year from 2012.

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