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INTERNET | eCommerce / Marketplace
lokalocal.com

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Founded Year

2016

Stage

Seed VC | Alive

Total Raised

$70K

About LokaLocal

LokaLocal is a Malaysian travel platform that acts as a marketplace connecting travelers with locals and experiences.

LokaLocal Headquarter Location

6th Floor, Unit 2, 8 First Avenue, Bandar Utama

Petaling Jaya, 47800,

Malaysia

+6012 233 2994

Latest LokaLocal News

Undaunted, LokaLocal forges ahead with virtual tours for activities in Malaysia

Jan 28, 2021

Undaunted, LokaLocal forges ahead with virtual tours for activities in Malaysia Undaunted, LokaLocal forges ahead with virtual tours for activities in Malaysia EVEN before Malaysia entered its first MCO (Movement Control Order) in March last year, LokaLocal , the travel tech platform founded in 2016 to connect travellers to local experiences hosted by Malaysians, had started seeing a drop in bookings. It quickly moved to a contentand media play, setting up a travel and lifestyle platform called MY 360Playbook. “We produced videos on things to see, eat and play in Malaysia,mainly putting the spotlight on destinations out of the city. Eventually westarted getting in advertising requests,” Rachael Lum, LokaLocal’s co-founderand content & marketing lead, told WiT. But when the first MCO was imposed between March and May, that plan was also scuppered because the team couldn’t get out and about to produce content. Plus, bookings then fell off the cliff. “Our bookings dropped by 90%. Around 80% of our customers were expatriates and non-Malaysian travellers, so the international travel ban left a huge impact. Some of our hosts decided to focus on other revenue streams. We had to move office and keep our team slim to manage our costs, while working on the pivot,” said Lum. Translating some of its activities into virtual experiences and creating interactive virtual tours enables LokaLocal to generate revenue and and keep its team together, says Rachael Lum. To help existing hosts the company translated some of its activities into virtual experiences. “This helped our local experts connect with people from around the world when no one could leave home, some of whom even hosted customers from international schools and companies.” In July, LokaLocal set up its Virtual Reality (VR) division, leveraging on its existing skills in technology and storytelling. “We started by creating interactivevirtual tours for our partners in the travel industry, such as hotels and tourattractions. During the pandemic we also tapped into several differentindustries such as properties, space rental, restaurants, furniture showroomsand healthcare. At a time when tourism has declined and foreign travellerscannot enter the country our new venture was able to generate revenue and keepour team together,” Lum said. Announcing the initiativethen, the company said “the technology also empowers businesses that want totake their stories and marketing message to a new dimension. Going virtualfacilitates content discovery for venues and activities, while boostingengagement and providing real value.” The first release of virtual tours covered nine states in the country and two Federal Territories, with many focusing on the Klang Valley, which comprises Kuala Lumpur, the suburbs, adjoining cities and towns in the state of Selangor. “We’re aiming to expand toother states such as Perak, Johor and Penang, and increase our VR contentdatabase,” said Lum. Now with Malaysia facing athird wave of infections and a second MCO from mid-January, Lum said that someclients have decided to postpone their plans to introduce virtual tours. “On the flip side, some realisethat virtual reality will be the new norm and would like to adopt VR for theirbusiness. The lockdown has delayed some of our projects, but it is openingavenues in terms of awareness.” She added that the company isletting its new VR venture take roots in more destinations and intend to keepthis going. “In the meantime, our team is still able to do 3D rendered virtualtours that do not involve leaving home.” Currently Lokalocal has about160 virtual tours across various sectors. “We’ve worked with the NationalMosque to enable VR for their mosque guides. We’ve created a couple of virtualtours that highlight Kuala Lumpur’s key heritage landmarks, which can be usedby guides in the city. For hotels such as Smokehouse Hotel Cameron Highlands,Cititel Express Ipoh and MÙ Hotel Ipoh our virtual tours allow them to innovatetheir marketing efforts through a new digital platform.”  An interesting virtual tour is to 22 Hale Street History Museum in Ipoh, Perak Lum said that Lokalocal didnot receive any benefit from the Malaysian government economic stimuluspackages. “So far we’ve been generating our own revenue through commercial projects. Where we can, we still allocate some of our resources to help tourism players during these trying times. It would help to have grants and support that are more easily accessible to companies that have new ideas and innovations to stimulate the travel industry and the nation’s growth.”  The Malaysian government has implemented four economic stimulus packages worth RM305 billion (US$75.4 billion) since the onset of Covid-19 early last year, and announced another aid package worth RM15 billion (US$3.71 billion) on January 18 for MCO 2.0, all intended to safeguard the welfare of the people and supporting business continuity. As to whether she is pinning hopes that vaccines will fast track travel recovery and reopen borders in the near future, she said, “It would, but I think it will be a few years before the travel industry bounces back.” She is, however, positive andoptimistic despite the current situation in Malaysia with ongoing lockdowns, bordersclosed and inter-state travel banned. “Moving forward  the team plans to focus on expanding ourservices in different states in Malaysia, and help more businesses adopthigh-quality and immersive virtual tours. We are also in the midst of designingVR guide books that can empower local businesses through storytelling and ourgrowing content database.” These digitalinitiatives also help to build the foundation for recovery in travel, and toinspire travellers to visit Malaysia when the country lifts its restrictionsand open borders to foreign visitors, she added. • Featured image (VR shoot at Four Points by Sheraton Kuala Lumpur, Chinatown) and all images credit: LokaLocal Tags:

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Expert Collections containing LokaLocal

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

LokaLocal is included in 1 Expert Collection, including Travel Technology (Travel Tech).

T

Travel Technology (Travel Tech)

2,060 items

The travel tech collection includes companies offering tech-enabled services and products for tourists and travel players (hotels, airlines, airports, cruises, etc.). It excludes financial services and micro-mobility solutions.

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