Digital

The Travel Startups Venture Investment Map: 2009-2014

@rafat

Mar 10, 2014 8:00 am

Skift Take

The next phase of travel investment will focus a lot more on B2B than disrupting the consumer, helping existing large travel brands on the backend and also helping them reach customers more efficiently.

— Rafat Ali

Free Report: The Changing Business of Extended-Stay Hotels

Where are all the funded travel startups, and who is investing in them?


Skift has been covering the travel startup sector and its place in the overall travel industry since we started in August 2012. But others such as Techcrunch have been covering the larger startup ecosystem for much longer.

Specifically, its database product Crunchbase has been tracking investments since 2009, and it published a map of investments in the travel startup world from 2009 to today.

The first chart, embedded below, shows the range of investments all over the world. The second chart show which institutional venture firms have been most active in this roughly five year period.

Some observations on the first chart on the geographic spread of travel startups around the world:

  • The U.S. has the most numbers of travel startup venture investments, 119, with a total value of about $858.9 million invested.
  • The UK comes in second with 25 companies that have raised about $135.6 million. But China, with only 17 investments, have raised a much higher amount of about $325.9 million. This confirms the anecdotal evidence that Chinese travel startups need and raise much larger amounts, to work on a scale not seen anywhere else in the world.
  • 13 startups in Spain have raised a minuscule $4.55 million; 10 travel startups in Germany have raised $96.2 million, while 10 startups in France have raised $81.75 million.
  • Brazil is the biggest LatAm market, with 4 investments valued at $104.5 million (Hotel Urbano is skewing that).
  • Russia has 9 investments with a total of $79.2 million, India has 10 investments valued at $67.36 million, and Singapore has 9 investments at a smaller total number of $20.4 million.

The second chart, below, shows the most active venture investment firms in travel.

Some observations:

  • Accel, Index, and Sequoia are the three largest investors in travel, each with 9 investments, with General Catalyst matching and exceeding some of them on dollar value, with 8 investments.
  • Airbnb sucks up most of the money from this elite set of VC firms, with Ostrovok, HotelTonight and HouseTrip following after.
  • SV Angel, Techstars, and Y Combinator play in the very early stage rounds for all sectors, and travel sector follows the same path for them.

And what’s coming next in travel investments? Experts quoted in the Techcrunch story have it right:

Accel Partners is focusing on less mature forms of travel, like vacation rentals, but also looking into SaaS for travel providers.

Jeff Fagnan at Atlas agrees…”Helping travel providers, from airlines to hotels — how to help them really find consumers, market to consumers,” Fagnan said.

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