Some investors think that patience is not only a virtue, but can also be worth a windfall. But waiting for big returns from tours and activities sector companies KKDay, Bookingkit, and TickX — which have received fresh investment rounds — may test their virtue.
Travel Startup Funding This Week
Each week we round up travel startups that have recently received or announced funding. Please email Senior Travel Tech Editor Tim Mullaney at [email protected] if you have funding news.
The total publicized this week was more than $26 million.
Earlier this week, we noted that Volantio, an Atlanta-based startup, raised a $2.6 million Series B funding round. International Airlines Group, JetBlue Technology Ventures, and Qantas Ventures participated in the round. The company helps airlines like United manage overbookings by offering buyouts to flexible passengers.
Here are the other recent investment rounds of note:
>>KKday, a tours-and-activities search and booking company, has raised $10.5 million in a Series B funding round.
H.I.S., the giant Japanese travel agency, led the round. The financial investment is also a strategic partnership in which H.I.S. will add KKDay inventory for its agents and will share its marketing and analytics technology with KKday.
Past investor MindWorks Ventures also participated. The funding brings the total that the company has raised to date to about $22 million.
Taiwan-based KKday, founded in 2014, said it offers more than 10,000 tours and activities in more than 500 cities. It claimed to serve “a few hundred thousand” travelers each month. Under CEO Ming Ming Chen, the company has grown from the initial 20 employees in 2015, to currently over 280.
The startup also increasingly with Berlin-based tours-and-activities booking platform GetYourGuide, which secured a $75 million Series D funding round last fall in the sector’s largest single fundraising amount to date.
>>Globalreach Technologies, a provider of Wi-Fi technology to travel and other sectors, has raised a $5 million round.
Gate Worldwide Holdings led the round. The company, founded in 2009 and recently relocated to Silicon Valley, runs Wi-Fi in the subway systems and some bus systems of London and New York City and has hotel clients, too.
>>Bookingkit, which provides reservation, channel management, and other software tools to tours and activities operators, has completed a Series B funding round.
The company did not disclose the amount of the equity round but said it was in the “single-digit millions” and that it has raised a two-digit million amount across all of its fundings.
HTGF, Intermedia Venture, and business angel Robert Kabs led the round. Müller Medien, a media company, also participated.
Founded in Berlin in 2014 by Christoph Kruse and Lukas C. C. Hempel, the startup has clients primarily in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Its competitors worldwide include Palisis’s TourCMS, Peek, Tiqets, Trekksoft, and Musement.
>>TickX, a U.K.-based price comparison engine for events and attractions tickets, has raiseed $4.2 million (£3 million).
BGF Ventures led the round. Existing investors Ministry of Sound and 24Haymarket also participated.
TickX trawls marketplaces like Ticketmaster, Headout, and Skiddle to present ticket options in one place. It still has far to go, though, for comprehensiveness.
A Friday search for tickets to the Eurovision song contest only found TV-watching events at U.K. pubs, while secondary market websites had resale tickets for the actual event in Lisbon.
The company responded to this critique by noting it is only currently live in the U.K., Ireland, and Spain at the moment so it doesn’t have events in other European countries.
>>TransferTravel has raised $1.37 million (£1 million) in Series A funding led by an unnamed private investor based on the Isle of Man.
The company is a secondary, or resale, peer-to-peer marketplace similar to Couchsurfing or Craigslist for the buying and selling of non-reimbursable travel, such as flights, lodging, and vouchers.
>>OpenAirlines, a French company that offers softare solutions on for optimizing flight operations and reducing costs, raised $1.2 million (€1 million) in funding.
Alter Equity3P led the equity round, and Bpifrance granted a loan.
The company, founded in 2013 in Toulouse, France, aims to help airlines cut their carbon footprint while trimming their fuel bill, too. Its services are used by 26 commercial airlines including Icelandair, Wow, and Malaysia Airlines, it said.
Check out our previous startup funding roundups here.
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Photo credit: KKDay, Asia’s largest attractions platform, has raised $10.5 million in additional funding led by Japanese investors. The investment has made the startup's founder and CEO Ming Chen, shown in this winter 2017 photo, all smiles. KKDay