LINE Corporation (Headquarters: Tokyo, Shinjuku-ward, Chief Executive Officer: Takeshi Idezawa) and Venture Republic Inc. (Headquarters: Tokyo, Minato-ward, Chief Executive Officer: Kei Shibata) have entered into agreement for strategic partnership in the travel sector through capital and business relationship.
LINE Co. will invest in Venture Republic Inc. for 34% worth of equity ownership through this partnership. Together with 3 new directors and 1 new corporate auditor from LINE Co., Venture Republic Inc. will further enhance its board and management team. New board consists of 6 directors and 2 corporate auditors. Current CEO Kei Shibata and COO Kenichi Shibata will remain as company’s representatives.
Venture Republic Inc. operates “Travel.jp” (https://www.travel.co.jp/), a leading online travel metasearch and media for travelers in Japan with over 15 million monthly visitors. Users can search and compare over 1.1 million of airfares and package tours offered by 250 travel companies as well as 30,000 domestic accommodations and 1.3 million international accommodations. Furthermore, “Travel.jp” provides “Travel.jp Travel Guide,” an online media focusing on travel in which over 500 travel experts (travel writers/bloggers) share their ideas on destinations, accommodations and local activities.
Since 2016, LINE has been advancing their “Smart Portal strategy” under its corporate mission of “Closing the Distance” to enable users to seamlessly connect with people, information, services, companies, and brands through LINE, online and offline, from anywhere and anytime, 24/7, without leaving the app.
“LINE Commerce gateway” was introduced last year as a new concept enabling users to start every shopping journey from within LINE platform. Two new services were launched as part of this concept: “LINE Shopping” (a service that makes shopping for great deals fun for users) and “LINE Delima” (a service that lets users order food from more than 14,000 locations across Japan). By creating new touchpoints between users and businesses, LINE has been providing a unique and seamless shopping experience to users.
LINE Travel (launched on June 28, 2018) is the latest service to join the LINE Commerce gateway, and will enable users to search, compare, and book domestic and overseas trips for travelers in Japan.
LINE and Travel.jp together accelerate efforts to revolutionize how people are inspired, find, book, and share on travel through this partnership. To illustrate, should travelers’ plans be disrupted by rain, travelers will be able to receive information on recommended indoor activities on LINE platform by utilizing LINE’s real-time, location-based service and matching relevant content from Travel.jp’s 27,000+ travel guide articles and aggregated travel products.
– Takeshi Idezawa, CEO, LINE Corporation
The “LINE Commerce gateway” was introduced last year as a new concept enabling users to start every shopping journey from within LINE. Based on this partnership with “Travel.jp”, LINE Travel (launched last month) is the latest service to join the LINE Commerce gateway, and will enable users to search for, compare, and book domestic and overseas trips. “Travel.jp” is also providing its online travel guide media service with rich content provided by travel experts. As such, I am pleased to be able to provide quality one-stop travel service through this partnership.
– Kei Shibata, CEO, Venture Republic
Travel and tourism is a big industry that accounts for 10% of the world’s GDP. As the travel and tourism market in Japan continues to grow with a highlight by the increase of demand for inbound visits to Japan, the online travel market in Japan utilizing the Internet is expected to achieve higher growth yet. Since 2001, Venture Republic has been focusing on building businesses in online travel space through running Travel.jp, Trip101 and other online properties. Today, Travel.jp has become Japan’s largest online travel metasearch & travel guide media attracting more than 15 million monthly users. With the increasing use of smartphones by travelers, this partnership between LINE, which operates the “LINE” application that has become an overwhelming user platform for mobile, and “Travel.jp”, which aggregates over 6.5 million travel products from 250 travel companies and more than 27,000 travel guide articles written by 500 travel experts, will allow us to provide some of the most unique online travel services in the world that address end-to-end needs of travelers. I am thrilled with this great opportunity.
*This announcement was featured on the following media.
Japan’s Travel.jp to provide content for LINE app’s new travel service – PhocusWire
LINE INVESTS IN VENTURE REPUBLIC TO EASE ENTRY INTO TRAVEL – Web in Travel
LINE and Venture Republic Sign Agreement for Capital and Business Alliance in Travel Sector – LINE
Kei Shibata talks about Travel.jp’s new partnership with LINE – Travel Massive
LINE invests in Venture Republic for 34% worth of equity ownership – CHINA Travel News
LINE Travel forms a capital alliance with Japanese travel meta-search Travel.jp – Travel Voice