DerbySoft gets VC funds
Updated: 2014-04-10 11:15
By Chen Jia in San Francisco (China Daily USA)
Global venture capital firm DCM will invest $9 million in DerbySoft, a Shanghai-headquartered firm operating one of China's largest hotel reservations systems.
"We intend to use the DCM funds to ramp up our team and operations to accommodate the exciting demand for the MetaSearch Manager platform, and to continue to increase the quality of our existing services," Ted Zhang, DerbySoft's co-founder and CEO, told China Daily on Thursday.
"This additional capital will also enable us to pursue other new opportunities that leverage our existing technology connections and infrastructure, such as potentially providing marketing services based on real-time aggregated hotel booking data," Zhang said.
"We are honored that such a top-notch, well-known VC has granted us this vote of confidence," he said.
Founded in 2002, DerbySoft's online reservation distribution services are today used by around 1,000 local Chinese hotel properties.
Co-founders Ted Zhang and CTO Feng Ou are both from Shanghai and individually had both gone to the US to earn advanced college degrees, and both ended up working in Silicon Valley, which is where they eventually met.
They realized how far behind China was in the online hotel booking arena, and went back to Shanghai to launch the company.
DerbySoft initially focused on Chinese hotels, but soon Hilton Hotels and IHG heard about the company's reputation and hired them to build connections from their reservations systems to Booking.com.
DerbySoft's US headquarters are in Dallas. DerbySoft's senior vice-president of global business, Keith Cotton, who reports to Zhang, is in charge of all of DerbySoft's US operations.
The company also has expanded business operations in London, Beijing and Tokyo.
In addition to IHG and Hilton, DerbySoft's global customers include Carlson-Rezidor, Hyatt, Shangri-La, and Marriott, as well as smaller regional chains such as Home Inns, JinJiang Inns and Greentree Inns.
DerbySoft connects its hotel customers' central reservations systems (CRS) and third-party CRSs to online booking and metasearch sites around the world, which include Booking.com, Google, Kayak, Travelocity, Room key, Tripadvisor, Ctrip, Taobao, Weibo and more.
In a move to meet the growing demand for metasearch sites, DerbySoft is currently not only providing reservation system connectivity services, but also developing innovative and sophisticatedCRS caching services.
"We're investing in DerbySoft because they are the recognized leader in connecting the world's largest hotel companies to the world's largest online travel sites," saidHurst Lin, co-founding partner of DCM China.
"The vast collections of Big Data associated with processing millions of hotel transactions daily provides an opportunity for DerbySoft to further their growth by providing new data-related services," Lin said.
Founded in 1996, DCM has offices in Silicon Valley, Beijing and Tokyo with more than $2.5 billion in assets under management. Its investments currently focus on early stage technology companies in the US, China and Japan.
The cases of 58.com, renren.com and an Uber-style Chinese car rental service called Yongche are among the more than 40 Chinese companies that have received funding from DCM.
(China Daily USA 04/10/2014 page2)