Skift Take

Travelers don't even need to download an app anymore to book a hotel or flight thanks to travel bots on the world's top messaging platforms. We still have a lot to learn about how consumers want to engage with travel messaging bots but already know that convenience is their paramount feature.

weekly_startup_fundingEach week we create a roundup of travel startups that have received or announced funding that week. The total amount raised this week among companies we tracked was $20.3 million.

Here are five companies that announced they raised funding this week. You can see previous roundups here.

>>WeSwap raised a $7.2 million Series B round from new investor Ascot Capital Partners and existing investors EC1 Capital and IW Capital and that brings the London, UK-based startup’s total funding to about $18.4 million.

The company is a person-to-person currency exchange focusing on travelers. Travelers swap currency with each other at the interbank exchange rate and pay a transparent fee. They receive an online account that holds multiple currencies and a WeSwap Prepaid MasterCard which enables them to access the funds in their account anywhere that accepts MasterCard. Right now the company can swap 18 currencies.

>>Skioo raised a $6.1 million Series A round from new investors Investinor and Canica bringing the Lausanne, Switzerland-based startup’s total funding to nearly $9 million.

Four-year-old Skioo is a ski pass for dozens of ski resorts in Switzerland and is looking to expand its presence to resorts in Austria, France, and Italy. The company says it charges the lowest rate offered by the ski resorts based on time spent on the slopes. It also helps resorts better understand the needs of their skiers through collecting customer data.

>>Vntrip raised a $3 million Series A round from new investor F & H fund management and this is the Hanoi, Vietnam-based startup’s first funding round. The company is a hotel booking site and has nearly one million hotels available.

>>GigSky raised a $2.9 million round of debt financing from an undisclosed investor which brings the Palo Alto, California-based startup’s total funding to about $22 million. The company offers an international SIM card that works in more than 90 countries.

>>SnapTravel raised a $1.1 million seed round from new investors Lightbank and Bee Partners and this is the San Francisco-based startup’s first funding round.

Keying into the growing trend of travel brands launching messaging bots, SnapTravel is a messaging bot that integrates with Facebook Messenger, Slack and SMS to help travelers book hotel rooms. The company launched this month and though the bot uses natural language processing and machine learning technology, if a traveler makes a statement that is ambiguous to the bot a human agent will step in to guide it.

SnapTravel will also call a hotel to negotiate a free room upgrade for a traveler’s stay.

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Tags: funding, vcroundup

Photo credit: SnapTravel is a messaging bot for booking hotels on Facebook Messenger, Slack and SMS. SnapTravel

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