Korea’s Myrealtrip Secures $56M in Fresh Funding Amidst Travel Industry’s Recovery

Mon Jan 22, 2024 - 3:26am GMT+0000

Myrealtrip, a Seoul-based travel tech startup, recently announced securing $56.7 million (75.6 billion KRW) in a Series F funding round. This investment aims to fuel its business growth, drive product innovation, and expand its workforce.

According to a 2023 UN World Tourism Organization report, global tourism has returned to pre-pandemic levels, signaling a significant resurgence for travel tech companies.

Donggun Lee, CEO of Myrealtrip, in an interview with TechCrunch, highlighted the company’s evolution. Starting 12 years ago in a fragmented South Korean travel industry, Myrealtrip now serves 7.9 million users, aspiring to become a comprehensive travel app. It offers services ranging from flight bookings to local transportation.

The company has formed partnerships with about 2,000 entities, including travel agencies and platforms like Expedia and Agoda. This collaboration enables customers to access a wide range of services, including tours, dining, and various accommodations globally.

Myrealtrip’s valuation has tripled since its Series D funding in 2020, as Lee revealed to TechCrunch. In 2020, its valuation was over 200 billion KRW, according to media reports.

Lee also noted a significant revenue growth for Myrealtrip, tripling since 2022. The company reported a gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $746 million (1 trillion KRW) in 2023 and targets to double this GMV while aiming for a $12 million EBITDA this year.

The pandemic posed challenges for the startup, but it managed to stay afloat with funds secured in 2020 and debt financing in 2022. Adapting its strategy, Myrealtrip focused on domestic tourism and introduced new features to cater to various travel needs.

Beyond domestic expansion, Myrealtrip acquired Startrip in 2022, a platform specializing in K-pop themed travel experiences, including BTS music video locations. Lee plans to operate Startrip as an independent entity, leveraging advanced technology.

Investments also include IwaTrip, focusing on family travel, and O-Peace, a platform for digital nomads. Myrealtrip’s technology-driven approach, including AI chatbots, positions it as a strong competitor in the travel market against firms like Klook, Yanolja, Agoda, and Airbnb.

Lee aims to further invest in technology, including AI, ahead of a planned IPO in 2026.

The Series F round, co-led by returning investors BlueRun Ventures Korea and IMM Investment, raised Myrealtrip’s total funding to approximately $113 million (150 billion KRW) in equity and $39 million in debt since its inception in 2012. New investors include Korelya Capital and Vanderbilt University’s endowment fund, along with other previous backers.

Currently, Myrealtrip boasts a team of 300 employees.