Skift Take

Startup fever gives rise to new entrants that believe they have a chance to compete and while some do, most have to fight hard to wrestle any market share away from major travel companies.

skift-seedlingsFor travel startups, it’s been a year of validation and concern as companies are merged and acquired because of strength or weakness in certain sectors.

These deals have given hope to entrepreneurs that their ideas may be on the right track but that they also may not be big enough to compete. Yet startups like FindMyStay (see below) in India still carry on while some have a shot at survival and others won’t be able to compete with scale.

This week we look at startups that are entering crowded markets and sectors across the travel industry where competition is fierce. From hotels to alternative accommodations to remote worker booking sites we’ve seen plenty of startups chasing after the same sectors this year, as in years past, that either have little room for opening or may not have much potential in the first place.


FindMyStay is a hotel bidding platform for India. It has about 2,000 hotels in more than 40 cities across India and claims to save guests an average of 30 percent on their bookings.

>>SkiftTake: Even as travelers are bidding for the price that they feel is best, they still want to know if they’re selling themselves too short. Comparing rates on popular booking sites is key to the user experience, which FindMyStay should make sure is part of its product.


Lucid Travel is a group travel booking site for the student market for destinations across the U.S., Europe and Latin America.

>>SkiftTake: Students definitely need a go-to platform for planning group travel for spring breaks, etc. What’s unclear is if the price-point is right on some of these trips and if students will want to book packaged travel.


Sweet Inn has apartments in Europe and Israel that it manages and provides amenities for.

>>SkiftTake: There are larger and more established platforms like this in Europe that will make it difficult for new players to break through, and to convince consumers how their product is different.


SuiteStory gives travelers access to discounts on hotel suites around the world.

>>SkiftTake: Suites are certainly in demand in some markets but when economies go sour suites are likely the first luxury that get crossed out of travelers’ itineraries.


Outsite helps people work remotely in U.S. destinations and targets location independent millennials and  tech workers with flexible schedules and remote teams.

>>SkiftTake: There is a growing movement of startups that want to help workers get out of the office for a certain period of time and out into the world. The companies want these workers to keep working but want to give them a change of scenery and capitalize on wanderlust. But will enough employers be open to letting their employees hit the road for up to a year, for example? With technology advancements it’s not out of the question that is a viable business but some doubts of scale remain.

For all of our SkiftSeedlings collection, check out our archives here.

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Tags: skiftseedlings, startups

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