Velocity Ventures and Korea Tourism Organisation Sign Memorandum of Understanding for co-operation with Korean Startup Accelerator for Travel & Tech

Oct 27, 2023 | Press Release

Singapore-based hospitality & travel-focused venture capital firm Velocity Ventures has finalised a Strategic Innovation Partnership with Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) to support companies working with the Korea Tourism Startup Center (KTSC) in Singapore to expand their footprint across Southeast Asia.  

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Kim Young Hee, Director of KTO Singapore and Patrick Imbardelli, Founder and Chairman of Velocity Ventures reinforces the commitment by both organisations to support innovation growth for the travel and hospitality industry in Southeast Asia.

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Velocity Ventures has also 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. 

A next-generation travel platform

Source: Tripbtoz

Source: Tripbtoz

Tripbtoz’s travel video ecosystem aggregates user generated content (UGC) video reviews of hotels and tourist attractions created by travellers. The platform rewards users with loyalty currency and discount coupons when bookings are made via referral links.  To date, over 500,000 UGC’s have been collected, allowing hoteliers and other travel destinations to use the UGC resources as marketing content. Founded in 2017 by CEO Jiha Jung, Tripbtoz has emerged as an Online Travel Agency (OTA) industry disruptor integrating community and commerce functions, and demonstrating robust financial performance

Kim Young Hee, Director of Korea Tourism Organization Singapore,  said, “Singapore’s strategic significance as a regional launchpad for Korean tourism startup cannot be overstated. The leadership team at Velocity Ventures, with their wealth of expertise and unwavering support, are an invaluable guiding force for emerging Korean tourism startups collaborating with the Korea Tourism Startup Center (KTSC) in Singapore as they expand their footprint across Southeast Asia.” 

“With a major mobile app redesign scheduled for later this year, we plan to fully localize our sales and marketing through the establishment of an entity to oversee the Southeast Asia market,“ said Jiha Jung, CEO and Founder of Tripbtoz. “We have direct contracts with 3,000 hotels in South Korea and Japan and our next stage of growth is to expand our reach and help hotels in Southeast Asia engage with our user communities. Travellers can use Tripbtoz at every stage of their travel: From travel inspiration to reviews or to upload memories, Tripbtoz unlocks the power of community and commerce with our UGC video content eco-system. We are confident that social content travel storytelling will be how Generation 2030 travellers  ‘play, share, stay’”.  

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. By supporting these dynamic  Korean tourism startups 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 KTO’s Tourism Startup Global Challenge Programme, an initiative designed to empower Korean tourism startups to venture into overseas markets, receive 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 Programme where winners have access to a support ecosystem at Korea Tourism Startup Center in Singapore. As an affiliate partner, Velocity Ventures also helps mentor Korean tourism startups in the programme.  

About Velocity Ventures

Velocity Ventures is a Singapore-based venture capital firm with a unique focus on the Hospitality and Travel industry in Southeast Asia. The firm invests in visionary entrepreneurs who are passionate about reshaping the Hospitality and Travel sector, with a focus on early to growth stage tech-enabled companies across 5 verticals: Travel Services, Transportation, Accommodation, Food & Beverage, and Experiences. 

About Korea Tourism Organization

The Korea Tourism Organization, since 1962, has contributed to national economic development and public welfare through tourism promotion, tourism resource development, tourism industry-related R&D, and projects for nurturing and training tourism professionals.

About Tripbtoz

Tripbtoz launched its service in June 2017 as an Online Travel Agency (OTA) based on user-generated videos. It introduced the “T2E (Travel 2 Earn)” service to connect travel experiences between users and allows them to travel again by offering rewards for engagement from other users. Tripbtoz received ‘The Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Award’ at the 2020 Challenge K-Startup in November 2020 and the ‘Prime Minister’s Commendation’ at the ’49th Tourism Day Ceremony’ in 2022.

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