Qunar reports over 400% revenue growth via mobile channelNews / Technology | OnlineBy Karthick Prabu | May 16, 2014Share This article was originally published on Qunar has reported revenue of $54 million for the first quarter of 2014, an increase of 83.6% year-on-year.Gross profit for Q1 2014 was $42.2 million, an increase of 76.8% over the same period. The increase was primarily due to the significant increase in overall revenues.However, Qunar's net loss for Q1 2014 stood at $29.5 million. The company claims this was primarily due to continued investment in product development, and marketing efforts.Mobile channel updateMobile revenues for Q1 2014 were $17.1 million, an increase of 415.1% YOY. This revenue component represents 31.7% of total revenues, compared to 11.3% in the corresponding period of 2013.Also, mobile channel accounted for 47.7% of hotel volume and 32.4% of flight volume in Q1 2014. Note: Recently, the company reported a single-day record of 60,000 flight bookings via its mobile channel.Total number of web and mobile users for Q1 2014 were 241 million and 60.3 million, respectively, an increase of 24.1% and 86.1% YOY.Qunar's mobile apps have exceeded a cumulative download of 200 million.Financial updatesFor the first quarter of 2014, Pay-for-performance (P4P) revenues were $51.3 million, an increase of 89.6% YOY.Among the P4P revenues, flight and flight related revenues were $37.9 million, an increase of 89.8% YOY. And, P4P hotel revenues were $9.9 million, an increase of 54.8% YOY.Gross margin value from the tour packages business grew five times YOY. Note: Qunar offered over 200,000 tours, an increase of 35% compared to previous quarter.Product development expenses were $19.5 million, an increase of 116.8% YOY, primarily due to an increase in salary, and headcount related expenses.Sales and marketing expenses were $21 million, an increase of 158.8% YOY, primarily due to an increase in salary, headcount related expenses, and an increase in online marketing expenses ($10.8 million). As of March 31, 2014, Qunar had 3,869 full-time employees, of which 38.3% were product development personnel and 32.6% were product sourcing personnel.Business updatesQunar announced that it would continue to focus on service automation. In the last quarter's earnings, Qunar highlighted the various automation initiatives in the company.CEO and co-founder, Chenchao Zhuang, says: "Whenever we can use technology to solve issues, we're looking to use technology, rather than rely on simple human beings. "Through our engineers' efforts, we have achieved a high level of automation for flight cancellation and refund. We also confirm hotel rooms' availability automatically upon booking, and reconfirm one-day prior to check-in."Share this quote Qunar has about 300 people in call centers to support the fulfillment of about 200,000 flight tickets per day.The company has over 2,500 OTA customers and it highlighted the diversity of travel suppliers by saying that the country's two largest OTAs accounted for only about 5% of the company's revenue.The number of hotel reviews in the site grew to 2.3 million (from 1.4 million in the last quarter). Everyday more than 10,000 new reviews are uploaded to the site.Related readQunar's Q4 2013 financial updateQunar's Q3 2013 financial updateQunar CEO speaks about automation, new features, Chinese challenges and moreNB:Mobile image via Shutterstock.