As winter gives way to spring, at least in the northern hemisphere, startups raised more than $24 million to expand online travel booking and planning in the Middle East and Europe. Just in time for consumers planning summer trips.
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 Sean O’Neill at [email protected] if you have funding news.
The total publicized this week was more than $24 million.
>>HolidayMe, a Dubai-based travel agency, has raised $12 million in a Series B funding round. It did not disclose who the lead investors were.
The company has raised $23 million, to date. It had a $7 million Series A led by investors Accel Partners and F&C Overseas Investment.
The startup began in its home market of Dubai. But it has since entered Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries, as well as India. It claimed to be the first company to offer in Arabic vacation packages and regional tours, activities, and airport transfers for booking.
The company will use the funding to open a physical office in Saudi Arabia and to deepen its expansion across Middle Eastern countries and India.
There are about 40 regionally based online travel agencies in the Middle East — a fast increase from a handful only several years ago.
>>Tourlane, a Berlin-based online travel company, raised $8.5 million in Series A financing.
Spark Capital led the round. Holtzbrinck and DN Capital also pitched in, along with angel investors who were co-founders of Airbnb, Qunar, Swoodoo, GetYourGuide, and HomeToGo, the 70-employee company said.
The company aims at what seemed an antiquated market of helping to plan custom trips for consumers, starting with its home market of Germany.
Many startups have struggled to make online travel planning a commercially viable concept over the years.
>>TRVL, a company that enables people to be home-based travel agents, taking a cut along the way, has received $3.7 million in a Series A from undisclosed investors.
The company did not disclose its investors in its announcement last week.
Check out our previous startup funding roundups, here.
Photo credit: Geet Bhalla (left) and Digvijay Singh are co-founders of HolidayMe, an online travel based in Dubai that is becoming a leading online travel agency. HolidayMe