>>Comtravo, a Berlin-based startup, has received $9.7 million (or 8.5 million euro) in a Series A funding round after two years of development. The venture capital firms Project A and Creandum led the round.
The startup aims to streamline travel booking for small- and medium-sized businesses. It uses software that takes advantage of natural language recognition and machine learning tools to speed up the booking process for travelers and managers.
For example, a traveler sends Comtravo an email, Skype or text message such as “I need to fly from Stockholm to Berlin on July 23 before my 9:00 meeting in the center. Would like a hotel in Kreuzberg and fly back in the morning.”
The traveler is then supposed to receive an answer with a few recommendations for flights, hotels, trains, and car rentals based on the employee’s past booking patterns and the company’s travel policies.
Comtravo, which has focused on European clients so far, says it will use the funding to expand internationally, and for hiring aggressively.
It is quick to point out that Lola, a well-funded travel concierge startup created by Kayak co-founder Paul English, has recently been adding tools similar to the ones Comtravo has been developing for its own platform — though the similarities end there.
>>BeMyGuest, a tours and activities booking platform based in Singapore, has closed a Series A funding round. Raffles Venture Partners and investor, Koh Boon Hwee, led the round.
The startup has not revealed the amount of the funding. But it says the round brought its total equity investment to $8.5 million since it was founded in 2012.
Other investors, such as the Singapore government, Chan Brothers Travel (Singapore’s largest group of travel agencies), Spring Seeds Capital, also participated.
BeMyGuest CEO & founder, Clement Wong, claims that his startup is now the largest aggregator of Asian attractions, tours and activities content.
He adds that his company has 500 strategic distribution partnerships with online travel players such as Ctrip, Yatra, Tuniu, Alitrip, and Travel.jp. It distributes more than 25,000 activities, attractions, day tours, ground transfers, and events in more than 900 destinations from 4,500 suppliers to those consumer marketplaces.
Wong claims his company has released a broad range of ways for tour operators to distribute their inventory to online travel players, as showcased by BeMyGuest Labs, its new platform that offers several options such as supplier inventory push API, multilingual pull API, and white-label distribution.
BeMyGuests’s less well-funded competitors include WithLocals, myRealTrip, and Voyagin.
>>MadeComfy, a home sharing property management service based in New South Wales, Australia, has received $850,000 ($1.1 million Australian dollars) in seed investment.
Founded in 2015, MadeComfy manages homes for hosts of short-term rentals in Sydney, the fifth-largest market for Airbnb worldwide. The company plans to use the funding to expand across Australia and New Zealand. It has 17 full-time employees.
The company’s model is similar to OneFineStay’s in Europe and Pillow’s in the U.S. For a 20 percent commission, it manages the stay on behalf of the host and promises higher returns to the host than the host could earn on his or her own.
Check out our previous startup funding roundups, here.