Taiwan vacation rental firm to expand to Singapore, Malaysia after US$7m Series B round led by Alibaba fund

A TAIWAN-BASED vacation rental startup has raised US$7 million in Series B funding, which will be used to expand regionally - including Singapore and Malaysia operations in early 2019.

The fundraising was led by Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund and Taiwan's China Development Financial, with US-based Darwin Ventures and Israel's Delta Ventures among the other investors, according to an announcement from travel booking platform AsiaYo on Wednesday.

The four-year-old startup plans to beef up its product development and add to its headcount of roughly 100 employees, with a focus on recruiting younger staff or "millennials".

Andrew Lee, executive director of the Alibaba Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund, said that his firm is already working with AsiaYo "to further develop technological capabilities in the travel industry".

Overseas bookings now make up about three-fifths of its business, AsiaYo noted in a media statement.

Besides Taiwan, AsiaYo also lists rental properties in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Thailand, with Cheng Chao-Kang, chief executive and founder of AsiaYo, adding that "this latest round of funding will help us to realise our international ambitions as we expand across the region".