Laughing all the way to the bank is even more fun when you're in the back seat of a chauffeured car. The founders of the Berlin-based professional driver service Blacklane have received significant funding from an investor in the Gulf States, a growing regional source of investment for travel companies.
Each week we round up travel startups that have recently received or announced funding. The total companies publicized this week was more than $46 million.
Earlier this week, we reported on how flight and hotel metasearch company Wego had raised an undisclosed funding round in the second half of last year. It has raised $60 million to date.
Here are additional fundings to report:
>>Blacklane, a chauffeured car service, received “the largest investment round” it has ever received. Given that its last round was $20 million, we estimate that this Series D round was at least $40 million.
The Berlin-based company said investors included the Al Fahim family business in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Daimler Mobility Services, and Btov Partners.
The company plans to add service to “dozens of cities” this year, especially in the Middle East and North Africa.
The company will also ramp up the rollout of its airport concierge services like a planeside meet-and-greet, which have been available in a few markets in the past year.
>>Domio, a vacation rental digital marketing and property management service, has raised an undisclosed seed round. The company has raised $4 million in equity to date, plus an additional $1 million in convertible debt.
It doesn’t disclose how many properties are under management, “but it’s in the hundreds,” the company said. It has hosted more than 15,000 guests to date at their properties, which are listed on Airbnb, HomeAway, and other platforms.
The startup leases properties and then operates them as short-term rentals. It competes with similar companies such as Sonder, Oasis, and Pillow. Domio has more than 20 employees and will be hiring more.
>>Snaptrip, a UK-based vacation rental provider of last-minute inventory, has secured a $3 million, or £2.1 million, seed investment round.
Snaptrip has also completed the acquisition of Last Minute Cottages, which lists properties for rent on several websites it owns.
The combined operation has 17 employees. Following the acquisition, Snaptrip is recruiting for three new roles, including a chief digital officer. The owners of Devon-based Last Minute Cottages are moving on to other projects.
Existing investor Bestport Ventures, who previously backed the company in 2015, led the new funding round, which also included Snaptrip.com’s other institutional shareholder, Forward Partners.
Founded in April 2014, the collection of shopping sites lists the inventory of professionally managed rental agencies, such as Sykes Cottages and Cottages.com, but also properties from individual owners.
>>CityStasher, a service to help travelers store their luggage while traveling between accommodations, has raised $1.1 million in a seed funding round.
Venture Friends led the round. Howzat Partners, Charlotte Street Capital, and angel investors also participated. The company had a small pre-seed round that wasn’t disclosed.
The company has helped to stash 50,000 bags to date, working with local businesses, hotels, and retailers in the UK. The startup plans on increasing its presence across 10 European countries.
Check out our previous startup funding roundups here.
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Photo credit: Pictured are the founders of Blacklane, CEO Jens Wohltorf (left) and CTO Frank Steuer. Their company has received funding that includes a significant stake taken by a Gulf States family business. Blacklane