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Yanolja: A Global Hospitality Platform with a Vision

Updated: Jun 1

Yanolja is a South Korean company that provides online accommodation and travel services. Founded in 2005 by Lee Sujin, Yanolja started as a platform for booking love hotels, which are short-term rental rooms for couples. The name Yanolja means "let's play" in Korean slang.

However, Yanolja has evolved beyond its original niche and become a full-stack hospitality service provider. It offers information and booking for various types of accommodation, leisure activities, and transportation. It also develops cloud-based hotel management solutions and automated hotel systems. Yanolja has expanded its presence to over 170 countries and supports 60 languages.

Yanolja's mission is to "create a world where everyone can enjoy travel and leisure anytime, anywhere". It aims to achieve this by leveraging technology and innovation to transform the hospitality industry and offer convenient and affordable services to customers.

One of the key figures behind Yanolja's growth and vision is its CEO, Jong Kim. Kim joined Yanolja in 2015 as the chief strategy officer and became the CEO in 2019. He has led the company's global expansion, strategic partnerships, and fundraising efforts. Under his leadership, Yanolja has become one of the fastest-growing unicorns in South Korea, with a valuation of over $10 billion as of July 2021.

Kim has a background in finance and investment banking. He worked at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley before joining Yanolja. He also co-founded Fast Track Asia, a startup accelerator and venture builder. Kim is known for his strategic thinking, execution skills, and passion for innovation.

Kim believes that Yanolja can become a global leader in the hospitality industry by offering a "super app" that covers all aspects of travel and leisure. He also envisions that Yanolja can create a "smart hotel" concept that uses artificial intelligence, internet of things, and blockchain to automate and optimize hotel operations and customer experience.

Kim's vision for Yanolja is aligned with the company's motto: "Play Different". He wants to challenge the status quo and create new value for the hospitality industry and society.

To illustrate how Yanolja is playing different, here are some examples of its products and services:

  • Yanolja Cloud Brand Hotels: These are hotels that are affiliated with Yanolja and use its cloud-based solutions for hotel management. Yanolja provides comprehensive consulting, marketing, and branding support for these hotels. There are more than 400 Yanolja Cloud Brand Hotels in South Korea, ranging from economy to boutique hotels. Some of the brands include Hound Hotel, Benikea Hotel, Rael Hotel, Zenith Hotel, etc.

  • Yanolja Cloud Automated Solution: This is a suite of products that enable hotels to automate their operations and enhance their customer experience. It includes Y FLUX, a self check-in kiosk that can also issue room keys and process payments; eZee Technosys, a global provider of cloud-based hotel software; and Y Flux Smart Room Control System (SRCS), a system that allows guests to control room temperature, lighting, TV, curtains, etc. using voice commands or mobile app. These products are used by more than 37,000 hotels worldwide.

  • Yanolja Super App: This is an app that allows users to book various types of accommodation, leisure activities, transportation, and other travel-related services. It has more than 15 million cumulative users and more than 1 million affiliated properties worldwide. It also offers personalized recommendations, discounts, rewards, and ads for users and partners.

Korea is home to many other unique companies, just like Yanolja. Follow us for more insight into Korean companies.


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