Startup TNDN has raised 1 billion won in Series A funding for its app of the same name aimed at Chinese tourists from Capstone Partners and Startup-X. The deal follows previous investment from both local and Chinese VCs, putting the startup’s total venture capital at 1.6 billion won.
TNDN launched its app for Chinese tourists visiting Korea eight months ago, providing useful information and tools for the Seoul and Jeju Island areas. In addition to tips for public transport and reviews about nearby tourist spots, the service also has a local map with Chinese translations, making it easier to get around.
TNDN have designed the app so that travelers can access everything they need without having to install other apps. Many features help with the language barrier including Chinese language menus available for certain restaurants and a summary of your order displayed in Korean to show waiting staff.
Payments are also made easy by simply scanning QR codes at venues and shops that support the TNDN app. Users don’t have to worry about exchanging money either — they can simply use their Alipay, Tencent Pay or WeChat Pay account, just like they would back home. Transactions are carried out directly from phone-to-phone, or through the retailer’s POS system. So far, TNDM has over 2,500 affiliated locations around Jeju Island and Seoul’s major areas.
After travelers return to their country, they can continue to order products from Korean stores and view related content through the app. While up until now the primary target has been Chinese visitors, the company recently added popular Korean app ‘Toss’ to its payment methods, meaning that locals can also use their phone to pay for things at these stores.
“By attracting this funding and strengthening the development of our service, we are able to improve benefits and expand our market share,” says CEO Lee Min-seok. He adds that he wants TNDN to be a company the represents all of Korea rather than just the Jeju area where its service is currently the strongest.