It is reported that Qunar, an online travel search service majority-owned by Baidu, has raised a total of US$ 57 million in a new round of funding from Baidu, Hillhouse Capital and GGV Capital. The three investors each contributed US$ 19 million. It is said this round was secured in the past March and the valuation is unknown.(in Chinese)
Qunar’s official response is that the report was not confirmed with them and the details were “far from the truth”.
Baidu and GGV Capital are Qunar’s former investors. GGV Capital invested US$ 15 million in November 2009, followed by Mayfield Fund, GSR Ventures and Teneya Capital. Baidu invested US$ 306 dollars to Qunar in July 2011 and obtained a controlling stake, 62.01%. At that time, Qunar was estimated to be valued at $485 million.
This round of financing is probably the last one before its IPO. In April, Qunar has raised the CPC-based advertising prices by 40%~80%, which is interpreted by insiders as efforts to improve its financials before IPO. But OTAs who pay for advertising aren’t happy about that. Around 10 other local OTAs like Elong, Mangocity boycotted the price adjustments and removed their offerings from Qunar recently.
image credit: gmw.cn