Spring 2020 was dismal for Klook. As nations closed their borders and went into partial or complete lockdown, the SoftBank-backed travel platform saw its profits plunge by as much as 90% through March and April. The World Travel and Tourism Council said in April that the coronavirus might put up to 100 million tasks in the worldwide travel and tourism at threat.

However in the dark times, chances were likewise bubbling up.

Six-year-old Klook enables travelers, mostly from Asia, to discover and book overseas experiences varying from Napa Valley wine tastings to sticking with a farming family in Cambodia– a bit like Airbnb Experiences. It then takes a cut from each deal that occurs in between the customer and activity vendor.

Prior to COVID-19, the startup, which crossed the $ 1 billion valuation mark back in 2018, was seeing 30 million monthly user sessions a month; by April, the figure diminished to 5 million. The constraints on individuals’s movement across the world, which is the foundation of its company, required Klook to quickly reassess item offerings.

“At the end of the day, we remain in business of enjoyable things to do. There are things to do at home, as well as local things to do when individuals might take a trip,” co-founder and chief operating officer Eric Gnock Fah informed TechCrunch over a phone interview. “Now [the pandemic] is giving us an opportunity to add a brand-new element to it.”

Staycation

Caged in your home, individuals around the globe relied on cooking, handcraft and other domestic tasks as an outlet for home entertainment and creativity. Klook responded to the demand by providing do-it-yourself kits for making bubble tea, macarons, candles and more– and delivering the material to people’s doorsteps. For people who were still eager to see the world, Klook partnered with landmark websites worldwide on online virtual trips, generating near 660,000 views in its first two livestreamed experiences.

Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.