KTO, Velocity Ventures sign MOU supporting Korean startups across Southeast Asia

Oct 26, 2023 | Media Coverage

Original source: KoreaTimes.co.kr

The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) and Velocity Ventures, a Singapore-based capital company, agreed to a Strategic Innovation Partnership, under which the two sides will support companies working with the Korea Tourism Startup Center in Singapore to expand business across Southeast Asia.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed in Singapore, Thursday, between Kim Young-hee, director of KTO Singapore Office and Patrick Imbardelli, founder and chairman of Velocity Ventures, reinforcing the commitment of both organizations to support innovation growth for the travel and hospitality industry in Southeast Asia.

As part of the MOU, Velocity Ventures announced its first Korean tourism startup investment recipient ― Tripbtoz, a Web3-based Online Travel Agency (OTA) that integrates community and commerce features with user-generated short-forms serving a market that is gravitating towards video content.

Tripbtoz’s travel video ecosystem aggregates user-generated content (UGC) video reviews of hotels and tourist attractions. The platform rewards users with loyalty currency and discount coupons when bookings are made via referral links.

To date, over 500,000 UGCs have been collected, allowing hoteliers and other travel destinations to use the UGC resources as marketing content. Founded in 2017 by CEO Jung Ji-ha, Tripbtoz has emerged as an Online Travel Agency (OTA) industry disruptor integrating community and commerce functions, and demonstrating robust financial performance.

“Singapore’s strategic significance as a regional launch pad for K-companies cannot be overstated,” Kim said.

“The leadership team at Velocity Ventures, with their wealth of expertise and unwavering support, are an invaluable guiding force for emerging K-tourism startups collaborating with the Korea Tourism Startup Center in Singapore as they expand their footprint across Southeast Asia.”

Nicholas Cocks, managing partner at Velocity Ventures said, “Investing in the flourishing tech startup ecosystem in Southeast Asia’s travel industry isn’t just about nurturing innovation; it’s about propelling the future of travel.”

He added, “By supporting these dynamic K-tourism companies spearheading technological advancements here in Southeast Asia, we hope that they can help solve the biggest pain points in the industry. Embracing change isn’t just a choice; it’s the path to shaping the future of travel.”

Since its inception in 2020, over 90 Korean startups have participated in the KTO’s Tourism Startup Global Challenge Program, an initiative designed to empower K-Tourism companies to venture into overseas markets, receiving grants and industry support to unlock access to business partners.

Velocity Ventures played a vital role in the selection process of the 2023 winners of the Startup Global Challenge Program where winners have access to a support ecosystem at Korea Tourism Startup Center in Singapore. As an affiliate partner, Velocity Ventures also helps mentor K-startups in the program.