ChuJian, origianlly a booking app for budget hotels, was co-founded by Zhen Nanyan (co-chairman of 7daysinn, an economy hotel chain), Quan Manwu and one other friend. Last month, this young startup secured $10million funding, and is planning on expanding its territory to social networking.
As a veteran in hotel industry, Zhen is very good at running booking services on mobile. Within less than a year Chujian has partnered with over 5000 hotels, and claimed to have 2million users and 7000 rooms booked per night. With a very quick booking system in which users can make orders and payment promptly on mobile and its wide network of budget hotels, the company has already started profiting.
It seems that in hotel booking area, ChuJian hasn’t really seen any player catching up yet. However, in the area of lifestyle service which ChuJian is now aiming at, we have seen some more rivals. For instance, the popular social rating site Dianping, and the food recommendation app company Lehe, who had also closed $10million funding from Sequoia Capital.
Chujian’s secret is: an O2O (Online-2-Offline) model targeting at friends circle. According to the co-founder Zhen who has tried out in many area including hotel, B2C or C2C, his biggest interests still go for the O2O sector. When talking about the app’s name ChuJian (meaning “first sight” in Chinese), he said,
Thanks to internet, people are more connected than ever. However, the meetups in real life among friends are getting less and less. What we want to do is to create more opportunities for people to enjoy life, to share wonderful moments together, and feel fresh and excited just like meeting each other for the first time. We are looking for a mobile O2O model among everyone’s freind circle.
Zhen explained, Chujian make the difference by introducing a personalized recommendation page, a picture-oriented UI and some intersting social functions. For example, if you use the app near Beijing Workers’ Gymnasium(a pub street) at 10p.m., you will probably see a personalized merchants list of hot clubs or night snack shops. Again, when you use it in the morning, you’ll find recommendations for breakfast stores nearby. Of course, you can also resort
to search box if the results are not what you want.
Apart from a magazine-like UI, Chujian also add some social fun to attract users. The function of “Gathering” allows people to add their friends in a dialog in which the details of the date, such as who,where and when, are shown. Thus you don’t need to inform everyone by phone or wait for their confirmation.
ChuJian, is the mix of a booking service and social networking application.