The market in China is sought after by many entrepreneurs but has been historically proven to be a tough nut to crack.
However, Australian duo Teresa Truda and Zia Word have obtained $50,000 worth of funding from Chinaccelerator (an accelerator program based in Shanghai) for their start-up, Chozun.
Chozun is in essence a travel app that gives travel recommendations to users. While most travel apps are based on other users’ tastes in travel (i.e. other people’s reviews), Truda said that they wanted Chozun to give recommendations based off the user’s personal tastes.
The other unique aspect is that this app uses blockchain technology (the technology used for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin) to ensure that reviews are 100% legitimate. This is achieved by Chozun having its own private blockchain which will allow authentication of users activity (i.e. whether they really did visit a specific place of interest).
Chinaccelerator said there was a gap in the market for Chinese outbound travellers and the Australian duo spent 3 months rebuilding the app around this premise.
They received $50,000 from Chinaccelerator and invested $250,000 of their own savings to build this app.
In 18 months, Chozun is now in 22 cities across China, South-East Asia and Australia, with a turnover of approximately $1 million since launch. Revenue is generated via a 10% commission fee for users purchasing through their app.
On the other hand, providers get their listings free for the first 12 months then $29 per listing after this period.
Truda says that working as a female entrepreneur in China was not without its challenges.
“I think starting a business is really hard, regardless of your gender, but there were some challenges in China when it came to fundraising and being taken seriously as a female in China,” she says. “It is all about building trust in China and showing people that you are legitimate.”
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