Briefing: Tencent leads $250 million investment in social travel site Mafengwo

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Mafengwo Raises $250 Million in New Funding Round Led by Tencent – PRnewswire

What happened: Chinese travel service and experience sharing platform Mafengwo announced that it has raised $250 million funding led by Tencent. Other backers of the round include General Atlantic, Qiming Venture Partners, Yuantai Evergreen Investment Partners, NM Strategic Focus Fund, and eGarden Ventures. Chen Gang, co-founder and CEO of Mafengwo, says that the company will continue focusing on its goal to build a one-stop travel service platform driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms.

Why it’s important: As a top player in China’s online travel agency industry, Mafengwo has been an investor favorite. The current round boosted its total funds raised to around $500 million. The round tightens the link between Tencent and Mafengwo, which partnered this month with Hong Kong-listed Tongcheng-Elong Holdings, another Tencent-backed online travel site. However, the timing of the investment bears notice following rounds of negative press beginning last year. Mafengwo was accused in October of faking 85% of all user-generated content, and the company was summoned by authorities in March for failing to comply with content regulations.