Skift Take

It's been a quieter year for mobile check-in and room key news as many hotels are on board and offer this technology to guests. But data show many guests aren't actually using mobile room keys and aren't satisfied with them, and it's important that new innovation from startups like OpenKey continue to help hotels get this right.

fundingroundupEach 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 $29.3 million.

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

>>In another move to help innovate the rental car sector, San Francisco-based Getaround raised a $10 million venture round from Toyota Motor Corp. The company, which is a mobile app and a peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace that enables car owners to rent out their cars, has now raised more than $56 million since it was founded in 2009.

Rental rates start at $5 per hour and Getaround has about 200,000 members in the U.S. It’s available in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland, California; Portland, Oregon and Washington D.C. and plans to add New York City.

>>OpenKey, a hospitality tech startup that helps hotels offer mobile room keys to guests, raised an $8 million Series A round, the company’s first, from undisclosed investors. The company was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Plano, Texas. Its mobile app sends guests room ready notifications and also lets them check into a hotel.

>>Investors are paying attention to brands’ living like a local marketing strategies — Localeur, an Austin, Texas-based startup that’s a community of locals sharing their favorite parts of their cities from food to drink and entertainment, raised a $4.1 million seed round from an undisclosed investor. This is the company’s second round of funding after raising a $1.2 million round in January 2015 and it was founded in March 2013.

>>BookingTek is a software company that helps hotels increase their direct meetings and event bookings on their websites. The startup, based in London and San Francisco, raised a $2.6 million venture round this week and its total funding now stands at about $5.5 million.

The software helps hotels make their meetings viewable in real-time, bookable and payable on their own websites and enables properties to make simultaneous room block bookings. BookingTek also operates, a multi-brand meetings website that helps increase bookings to venues in more than 20 countries.

>>London-based Chic Retreats raised a $2.4 million seed round from new investor Maven Capital Partners. This is the company’s first funding round since it was founded in 2012. Chic Retreats is a luxury travel marketplace that connects its collection of independent hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses and villas to affluent travelers.

>>WeSwap raised a $2.2 million round of equity crowdfunding, bringing the London-based company’s total funding to more than $20 million since it was founded in 2010. The app allows travelers to swap different types of currency with others.

Travelers swap currency with each other at the interbank exchange rate and pay a 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.


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Tags: funding, vcroundup

Photo credit: OpenKey, with its homepage pictured here, raised an $8 million funding round this week to build out its mobile room key technology. OpenKey

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