Support Skift’s Independent JournalismMake a Contribution Now
Earlier this week we noted that Travelaer, a technology startup building booking engines and conversational interfaces for airlines, has raised $4.73 million (4.3 million euros) in an investment round led by Entrepreneur Venture. Pléiade Venture and others also participated.
>>Founded in 2014, HundredRooms is a vacation rental metasearch platform based in Palma de Mallorca. It has closed a $4.27 million (4 million euro) round of financing, led by Seaya Ventures, with participation from Mediaset and previous investors. The company’s total equity financing is $11.76 million (11 million euros), to date.
The 60-employee company plans to use the funding to focus on apartments managed by private individuals and to expand to consolidate the international expansion into Germany, France, UK, Italy, and Mexico. The company will spend on TV advertisement to boost brand awareness.
The platform integrates listings from numerous websites, such Airbnb, Homeaway, Booking, HouseTrip, HomeAway, and 9 flats. It says it lists nearly 7 million home rentals.
Beatriz González, founding partner of Seaya Ventures, said: “The vacation rental space is the fastest growing category in the travel sector (35% year-over-year). We believe metasearch will lead this category in the future, as it has done in flights or hotels. Hundredrooms is the best-positioned company to become the leader, given its outstanding team and a very sophisticated technology that can match properties identifying substantial price differences.”
>>OneTwoTrip, an online travel agency focused on the Russian market, has raised a $3 million investment, with lead investor Bank Saint Petersburg taking approximately a 3 percent minority stake.
The small round suggests investor caution. The company has raised $48 million to date. In 2015, turnover of OneTwoTrip was estimated at $473 million, which was down from $700 million in 2012.
But some investors are bullish. Investment company Vostok New Ventures, which owns 14.6% after buying out $5.8 million in shares of another investor in December, praised the company in an annual report first noted by Tnooz: “Both revenue and margin [at OneTwoTrip] have grown [in 2016] despite the headwinds of a depreciating currency and negative economic cycle. Market share has increased during this period as the brick-and-mortar part of the travel industry has been forced out of business.”
Chief executive Mikhail Sokolov tells Skift that “efficient marketing combined with growing online travel penetration across all travel segments has resulted in a high double digit growth that is currently accelerating.” The company, launched in 2011, says that today 10,000 travel products are booked through it every day, on average.
That said, Sokolov replaced founder and CEO Peter Kutis, whose plans to deliver $1 billion in annual sales and an IPO by 2015 fizzled as oil prices hurt the Russian economy.
>>Coras, an Irish company that plans to play technological matchmaker between tour operators and demand-generation marketplaces, has received $2.04 million (1.9 million euros) in funding, led by Atlantic Bridge. Other investors include Hambro Perks and Elkstone Capital.
The company intends to act as a global distribution system for tours and activities and other events, with a pool of ticket inventory connected to online marketing brands via API integrations. It will formally launch later this year. It faces a crowded and contested market for online booking software and marketplaces
>>Ithaka, a chat-based travel planning app where travelers can request recommendations from experts for free, says it has raised an angel round of $325,000. The Mumbai-based startup, founded in 2015 by Traveljunkie Solutions, earns commissions when travelers book hotels, tours, or activities through its affiliate partners.
As of today, the company plans for itineraries to Thailand and Indonesia. But Ithaka plans to expand to cover trips through Southeast Asia within a year. It says it differs from Lola and Pana, which also have chat-based travel concierges, by offering end-to-end trip planning.
You can check out all our previous startup funding roundups, here.