>>Joymode, a Los Angeles-based activity gear delivery service, has raised $14.4 million. Naspers, a South Africa-based tech investor, led the round.
Joymode previously raised about $2 million. While not exclusively focused on travel and while only delivering to residents of L.A. right now, the company hints at the last mile for hotels, vacation rental owners, car rental brands, and online travel companies to reach — providing rentable gear for travelers to use on their trips.
Members pay subscription fees to have access to everything from backpacking gear to GoPro activity video cameras to drones and video game entertainment for road trips.
The company, founded in 2015, also helps outfit homes and backyards for parties. But unlike a peer-to-peer marketplace where neighbors lend items to each other, Joymode owns the equipment it lends.
The company taps into the trend of appealing to people with a so-called millennial mindset of not wanting to own possessions but preferring to spend on Instagrammable experiences.
The venture firm iNovia led the round. In the past year, two of its travel portfolio companies were acquired, including Luxury Retreats, which was bought by Airbnb, and Routehappy, which was bought earlier this week by Airline Tariff Publishing Co. (ATPCO), as we reported.
New investors include Teralys, Claridge, and Plaza Ventures, and Erik Blachford, a former Expedia CEO, and Philippe Vimard, who was previously the chief operating officer of eDreams.
The Montréal-based online marketplace offers intercity bus tickets for travel among more than 16,000 cities. Blachford said, “With over 1,300 partner operators, Busbud is already essentially the biggest bus marketplace in the world.”
Wanderu claims to have the largest depth of coverage in North America and Europe, where it also maintains it has more than 4 million users a month.
Other competitors, such as Bustripping, NickelBus, and RideScout, have faded.
Busbud plans to expand more into business-to-business services, which would put it more into competition with Distribusion, a Berlin-based company that has raised about $9 million, or €7.3 million.
>>Pay By Group, a checkout option on travel and retail e-commerce sites that lets friends and families split the cost of hotels and flights, closed a funding round from Czar Ventures and other notable investors. This was a follow-on investment, the total and terms of which were left undisclosed.
The company, founded in 2011, previously raised a $3.4 million seed round from Payment Ventures, 500 Startups, Amino Capital, Great Oaks Venture Capital, and Kima Ventures.
>>Much Better Adventures, an online travel booking platform, has crowdfunded $1.75 million, or £1.25 million, from 708 people in a mix of equity and private investment via Crowdcube.
It said that more than 20,000 customers had booked adventure-themed holiday travel through its platform — amounting to about $14 million in transactions — since its founding in 2012.
Skift Research has published an Analyst Session on Venture Investments Trends in Travel. And check out our previous startup funding roundups here.