Germany-based tax refund platform for Chinese travelers Travel Easy raises USD 20 million

When the European service sector meets the Chinese demand.

Photo: Shutterstock

The service provider firm for Chinese overseas Travel Easy Innovation GmbH said it has closed a new financing round, seizing USD 20 million from Haitong International Securities Group, 36Kr reported on Tuesday.

The company, founded by a Chinese national named Yang Yang, allows Chinese travellers to enjoy tax refunds from the goods they have bought in Europe through its tax return service branded Tax Free Easy, and a mini program called Tuiduoduo Global via Tencent’s WeChat platform.

Tuiduoduo allows tourists to register their information on the platform to get a designated electric tax refund card, which can be used when buying goods from the company’s retail partners in Europe. The service helps customers to get tax-refund forms printed directly with all identifying information in, saving time and efforts. The company will later return the final refunds to the client’s WeChat Pay wallet, Alipay accounts or bank cards.

The firm claims that thanks to the digitalization of the tax-refund process, each Travel Easy employee can handle 8,000 tax-refund forms, compared with 40 such forms by an employee working with a traditional tax-refund company.

Travel Easy makes one-third of its revenue from the difference between the final sum it returns to shoppers and the value-added tax rebate it gets from each government in Europe. It also gets revenues by directing shoppers to retailers and by allowing them to place advertisements on its mini program.

The company made EUR 50 million (USD 55 million) in revenues, and RMB 100 million (USD 14 million) in gross profits in 2018.

36Kr is KrASIA’s parent company