AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes is among supporters of a strategic investment in Malaysian travel start-up, Touristly.
Fernandes, Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, and Lim Kian Onn head Kuala Lumpur-based startup incubator and accelerator Tune Labs which is backing the travel itinerary platform with an undisclosed sum.
Touristly is to incorporate its platform with several companies in Tune Group, such as AirAsia’s Travel 3Sixty, Tune Hotels, Tune Protect, and AirAsia BIG, optimising the travel planning experience for travellers and holidaymakers.
Touristly emerged as one of the two winners in the inaugural Pitch@Palace Malaysia and will be heading to Pitch@Palace Global at St James’s Place in the UK in December.
Established by the Duke of York, Pitch@Palace is a platform for showcasing technology startups to a global audience of influencers.
The firm’s founder and chief executive Aaron Sarma said: “We are very excited to be part of the Tune Group family as it complements our services for travellers and tourists.
“After a traveller books their flights and accommodation, the natural next step is to plan the holiday itinerary itself and this is where we come in.
“We currently offer 7,000 deals in over 70 destinations and we will be working to grow our base to shadow AirAsia and AirAsia X’s 120 destinations. This will be in favour of completing the travel experience for anyone who flies with the airline.”
Arun Verma, co-managing partner of Tune Labs, added: “This Tune Labs and Touristly agreement provides a great example of how the Tune Group ecosystem can generate significant synergies with a start up, even at a relatively nascent stage.
“We look forward to working with Aaron and his team, establishing Touristly as the Asia Pacific traveller’s first port of call when planning and booking travel activities.”
Tune Labs co-managing partner, Gareth Lim, said: “Touristly provides the Tune Group with a neat stepping stone to extend its presence along the travel and hospitality chain.
“AirAsia travellers, BIG Loyalty members, and Tune Hotels guests will now have easy access to a one-stop platform to plan, book, and purchase holiday activities – at a compelling price point consistent with Tune Group unique selling point – and share their travel experiences throughout Asia.”