Skift Take

After years of following startup funding trends, it's tempting to move to a developing country to start an online travel agency or metasearch company. On the other hand, we can list dozens of reasons not to.

Each week we round up travel startups that have recently received or announced funding.

The total raised this week was more than $22 million.

>>Vntrip, a Vietnamese online travel agency that is essentially a white-label affiliate of, has raised $10 million in a Series B funding round. Hendale Capital, a Hong Kong-based firm, led the round.

Vntrip debuted for consumers in 2016, when it raised a $3 million Series A round led by former Alibaba chief technology officer John Wu.

The company wants to repeat the funding feat accomplished by Traveloka, an online travel agency in Indonesia that raised about $500 million in the past year.

Smaller Vietnamese competitors include Abay, Atadi, Tugo, and VietnamUniquetour, but foreign brands dominate the market.

There are Vietnamese businesses which were originally set up as tour operators but have shifted to become OTAs, such as.

>>Airside Mobile, an Arlington, Virginia-based maker of a mobile passport app, raised $6 million in Series A equity funding.

Blazar Ventures and Grotech Ventures led the round. Bain Capital Ventures and 8VC also pitched in.

The company, which launched in 2014 and is led by CEO Hans Miller, said that more than 2.5 million travelers have used its mobile passport, which gives expedited processing through U.S. passport control and customs at 24 major airports and Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The company intends to use the funds to add its service to additional airports and other locations and to create other identity-related products. U.S. Customs and Border Protection authorizes the app, and the Airports Council International-North America, the Boeing Co., and Port Everglades are sponsors.

>>Travlr, a travel marketing, trip curation, and booking platform, has raised a $3.7 million, or $5 million Australian, in Series A funding from private investors.

The company has been around for 2.5 years but is an outgrowth of The Bali Bible, a travel guide that emphasized the social sharing of recommendations. It draws more than 2 million monthly visits to its 290,000 pages of user-generated recommendations, it said.

The husband-and-wife co-founders have great marketing traction on Instagram. The hashtags #thebalibible and #balibible have been used 1.6 million times on the image-sharing site.

In January Travlr plans to enhance trip booking by accessing the data feeds of airlines and companies like and Agoda. By selling placement of ads on its existing platform, it claims to earn revenue of $2.83, or $3.75 Australian, per user, on average.

>>FewoFerien, a vacation rental, hotel and flight metasearch company, received $2.1 million, or €1.8 million, in a convertible debt by undisclosed private investors.

The Frankfurt am Main startup has nine employees across its FewoFerien and U.S.-facing HolidayHomes brands.

Founded earlier this year, FewoFerien has drawn a lot of visits in Germany by buying traffic and using feeds from providers like HomeToGo and Skyscanner for content.

Check out our previous startup funding roundups, here.


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Tags: funding, startups, vcroundup

Photo credit: A user tries to book travel on Vntrip. The startup's fundraising in the past year makes it the third-most successful Vietnamese startup at fundraising after two non-travel companies Momo, which raised $28 million, and F88, which raised $10 million. Vntrip

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