Qunar is reporting a significant jump (in line with the past two quarters) in mobile revenue, increased traffic from mobile channels and an upward spike in the user base.
The China-based travel search service Qunar released the numbers as part of its Q4 and fiscal year 2013 earnings report which revealed revenue of $41.5 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2013, a 74% increase year-on-year. Net loss for Q4 was$20.1 million.
For the fiscal year 2013, revenue was $140.6 million, an increase of 69.6% year-on-year (YOY) with net loss of $30.9 million.
The net loss in both Q4 2013 and fiscal year 2013 were primarily attributed to continued investment in product development and marketing efforts.
- Mobile revenues for Q4 2013 were up 390% to $8.2 million - 19.8% of total revenues.
- Mobile revenues for the fiscal year 2013 increased 560% to $21 million - 14.9% of total revenues for fiscal year 2013.
- The volume of web queries increased 46.6% to 596 million with mobile queries up 235% to 261 million for the quarter.
- Web queries for the fiscal year increased 42.4% to 2.2 billion while mobile queries were up 303.4% to 782.2 million.
- Total web and mobile users for year was about 234 million and 54 million, respectively, compared to 187.3 million and 21.9 million in 2012.
- In Q4 2014, mobile queries for hotel and flight during peak days accounted for 76% and 36% respectively.
Qunar has more than 100,000 hotels in its mobile platform and during Q4, 37% of room nights came via mobile while flights was 27%.
CEO and co-founder of Qunar, Chenchao Zhuang, says:
"Looking to the year ahead, we will keep the focus by maintaining our price leadership, expanding our product offerings, enhancing service quality and introducing innovative features in all our key segments, such as flights, hotels, vacation packages, and destination services, on any device at any time. We expect even stronger growth in the year to come."
Business and product update
Currently, Qunar's search scope covers more than 450,000 hotels. Both the expert (12,000 reviews) and user-generated reviews now cover 110,000 hotels in China and abroad.
Other developments include the launch of a premium 24-hour service called Yushuan , which enables travellers to have a ticket confirmed within three minutes.
Qunar and Baidu have also worked on features such as voice recognition for air and hotel search in a bid to make its platform more engaging.
Qunar is also testing prioritized listing for high-quality travel service providers.
In Q4 2013, Qunar increased investment in its call center technology platform, used by 300 agents. The company has also implemented features such as auto cancellation, auto ticketing and auto refunding system to improve consumer experience and service quality.
In the flight business, 58% of cancellations and refund can now be processed automatically. Qunar plans to increase this percentage further this year and it is also planning to extend this approach to other line of businesses.
The company says that by the end of 2015, most of the work will be conducted by machines, not humans.
When asked Qunar to compare itself with the global metasearch giant Kayak, Zhuang responded:
"We are way advanced than them. I don't think they are comparable partners."
Baidu's $300 million credit facility for Qunar
In the earnings call, Qunar announced a three-year $300 million revolving credit facility from Baidu.
In 2011, Baidu invested $306 million in Qunar and claimed a controlling stake, more details here.
The three-year credit facility bears no commitment fee. Any draw-down bears interest at a rate of 90% of the benchmark lending rate published by the People's Bank of China and shall be repaid within three years from the draw-down date.
Qunar is allowed to repay its outstanding debt obligation at maturity either by cash or by Qunar shares. This credit facility will be used for working capital requirements and general corporate purposes.
Q4 and 2013 pay-for-performance update:
Related read:NB:Mobile user
- P4P revenues were $36.8 million, an increase of 83.8% YOY and 5.6% quarter-on-quarter (QOQ).
- For the fiscal year P4P revenues were $123.8 million, an increase of 77.6% on 2012.
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