Park Sung Chul, a representative of Yanolja (a Korean phrase for "let’s play"), announced on July 27 that the company has now raised $8.5M from Partners Investment. Partners Investment is known for investing in startups that demonstrate potential growth.
With this first investment, Yanolja hopes to grow from offering accommodation ads to covering all accommodation related industry sectors. This will allow accommodation franchises and B2B businesses that have an offline presence to create a solid mobile business service platform.
President of Yanolja, Lee Soo Jin, stated that their goal was to "cater to the needs of small to medium sized accommodation establishments as well as become a leading business in the field of entertainment culture." Yanolja is determined to bring innovation to the accommodation industry.
Lee Bum Suk, a Director at Partners Investment, said that the service offered by Yanolja was “truly differentiated from other O2O businesses in that it offers an online solution to well established offline businesses.” He added their decision to invest was made with the confidence that Yanolja has the potential to lead the industry, having operated in the national accommodation industry for ten years.
Yanolja started providing accommodation information and travel content in 2005 with approximately $42k (USD). For the last 10 years, the company has recorded an annual growth rate of 150% without any foreign investments. Its services include Yanolja Accommodation, Yanolja Dangil (same day bookings), and Yanolja Pension.
Yanolja now boasts a user base of over 2.6 million and its mobile app has been downloaded more than 4.1 million times. In 2011, it launched Korea’s first national accommodation franchise.