Vietnam’s fintech unicorn to use new funds to beef up online travel business

VNTRAVEL launching a few new methods concentrating on company, high quality and situations

VNLIFE, which a short while ago lifted US$250 million in Series B, will allocate “a significant chunk” of the new money to create up its on the internet vacation division, VNTRAVEL, managing director Niraan De Silva stated in an job interview with WiT this week.

“It’s nevertheless early times in on the web
vacation in Vietnam and there is a great deal to do,” he said.

In spite of Covid acquiring brought Vietnam’s journey industry to a standstill – “there is no travel correct now”, he stated – the group continues to be self-assured about travel’s upcoming. A surge in Delta variant conditions has resulted in Ho Chi Minh and other towns in Vietnam currently being positioned underneath the strictest lockdowns because the pandemic began, grounding domestic journey.

Niraan de Silva: “It’s continue to early times in on the net vacation in Vietnam and there is a large amount to do.”

VNTRAVEL has employed the downtime during Covid to reinforce its information and solution. “Hotels need us extra than at any time and we are making certain we press forward,” he said. “We have upgraded our advice engines and improved algorithms for customising of customer base.”

It is also rolling out Tripi One, a company platform, Tripi C-Suite, a quality booking system as nicely as mytour Occasion, an events management platform that will match need for events and parties with lodge companions. “Hotels love that business,” he stated.

In July, VNTRAVEL signed an settlement with South Korean hospitality
program supplier, Yanolja Cloud, to
give its technology to lodges in Vietnam to allow electronic test in and
check out out, contactless payments and other solutions.

“The world working experience and standpoint they
can carry to even further assistance our advancement ambitions is really exciting. Given a
speedily increasing digital consumer base in the region, the added funding
will allow for us to speed up our attempts in technologically enabling our
service provider partners to retain up with this alter,” claimed de Silva.

VNLIFE at a glance

He reported the overarching
inspiration of the VNLIFE group is “to use technologies to make lifestyle greater for

VNLIFE’s main fintech subsidiary,
VNPAY, offers computer software for financial institutions that want to deliver mobile payment apps and
other electronic providers. It also provides QR code payment systems to shops,
which can procedure payments from individuals bank apps. VNLIFE says it works with about
40 banks and that its payments community has 22 million end users and more than
150,000 spouse retailers. Its two other verticals are on line journey and

The latest expense came from buyers
which include US-primarily based Standard Atlantic and Dragoneer Investment decision Group. PayPal
Ventures, the undertaking cash arm of US payments firm PayPal, and
Singapore’s EDBI also participated in the funding spherical, together with existing
traders GIC and SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund.

The expense values the organization
at “well over $1 billion”, de Silva advised the monetary press, but it is “years
away” from an preliminary community offering. In July 2019, it elevated $300 million
from Softbank and GIC.

He told WiT that on the internet journey
was a purely natural progression of what the corporation is making an attempt to establish in Vietnam.
“It was an essential use circumstance for shoppers, we want to touch the purchaser at
multiple details throughout the working day, all through the week, in the course of the yr. Initially we experienced
digital banking, then major up, bill payment, QR pay back.

“Point to stage travel is a
complementary business and one particular of the biggest agony details in vacation in Vietnam
is payments. Credit card penetration is extremely low in Vietnam and journey is a
larger value item and the present-day method of payment is hard cash on delivery. Considering that we
have a cashless payments community, it can assistance travel and correct that pain

De Silva,
who joined VNLIFE about five many years back, stated, “We are most likely a single of the greatest
on-line vacation agents in Vietnam”.

It is a pure domestic engage in, with an omni-channel distribution for stock and a centralised pricing and aggregation motor that pushes out written content across unique channels relying on different demographics, stated de Silva.

Dnogo goes for the young, very first-time traveller.

Its first journey distribution channel was by means of its banking vertical
in which Vietnamese could e-book journey through their banking application and shell out by
direct debit. Then it partnered with non-lender partners this kind of as My Wallet and
iCheck, so that they could sell travel to their prospects. Its 3rd
distribution channel is as a result of its direct shopper apps such as Dinogo, which caters for younger very first time travellers and, aimed at the greater stop phase. The fourth channel
is its agent network – Tripi Partners – with 10,000
digitally-enabled brokers nationwide.

“We don’t rely on just a single channel, our aggregated inventory is dispersed as a result of different channels, distinctive solution mixes. We can do this mainly because we are targeted on domestic. The greatest charge in vacation is user acquisition and we do the job with strategic associates to monetise their buyer foundation.

“We delight ourselves in offer aspect integration and merchant management.
Vacation is not a difficult business. You get the vacation business with your
relationships and serving of airlines and accommodations companions.”

Purchaser provider is also a prime emphasis and even however is an
online business, it has opened what he termed “experiential purchaser company
stores” in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. “They are not built for promoting, but
for buyer working experience. Currently if prospects want support, these as switching
flights, they are pushed into a connect with centre. During this total pandemic, consumer
guidance is the place we have excelled.”

It strategies to open up up to 15 services centres in the place.

Highlighted graphic: Credit VNLIFE