Skift Take

Flipping property management companies may become the new house flipping — if larger startups like Hostmaker start acquiring smaller ones, as we expect they will.

Series: Startups This Week

Travel Startup Funding This Week

Each week we round up travel startups that have recently received or announced funding. Please email Travel Tech Reporter Justin Dawes at [email protected] if you have funding news.

The total funding publicized this week was more than $10 million.

>>Hostmaker, a home rental management services company, has raised $5 million in venture debt.

Silicon Valley Bank led the investment in the startup, which has raised $25 million in total since its founding in 2014.

Hostmaker helps to run rentals, such as with housekeeping services, and to market them across platforms such as Airbnb and The company currently supports more than 1,000 homeowners in eight European cities plus Bangkok as the start of a push into Asia.

Marriott International recently announced a partnership with Hostmaker to introduce a new branded home-sharing proposition named Tribute Portfolio Homes.

The London-based startup said it would use this latest money to acquire smaller portfolio operators and to invest in its technology.

Possible acquisitions could include London-based GuestReady, which raised a $3 million seed round last autumn and serves properties in Europe and Asia (such as in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur).

Hostmaker competes with many players, including Guesty, which, earlier this year raised $19.75 million in Series B funding led by TLV Partners.

>>Bitla Software, a Bengaluru-based travel technology company, has received an undisclosed investment from MakeMyTrip, India’s largest online travel agency.

MakeMyTrip said it now had “a significant stake” in the company but wouldn’t say if it was a majority owner. Bitla Software, founded in 2007, had not previously raised outside funding.

The business-to-business company sells digital marketing, online booking engines, and distribution software for intercity bus operators, bus global distribution systems, online ticketing portals, hoteliers, holiday tour operators, and cargo and logistics companies.

It claims to manage India’s largest direct inventory of intercity buses and bus operators.

Deep Kalra, Chairman and Group CEO of MakeMyTrip, said, “Our latest investment in Bitla Software is aimed at providing an extensive suite of technology products and solutions for the bus and hotel supplier ecosystem, which will further strengthen our strong market position.”

Dasharatham Bitla, Founder and CEO, said that the external resources would enable his company to expand more rapidly.

>>CheckMyBus, a Nuremberg, Germany-based metasearch engine for long-distance buses, has closed a Series A financing round. The company did not disclose the amount but it is believed to be $1.8 million (£1.4 million).

Marchmont Ventures, a fund co-founded by the former CEO of Momondo Group Hugo Burge and the former chief financial officer of Momondo Alan Martin, led the round. Another of Burge’s investment vehicles, Howzat Partners, also participated.

Founded in 2013, the Nuremberg-based startup offers price-comparison of intercity bus travel and airport shuttle choices.

CEO Marc Hofmann said the company has 15 full-time employees and is hiring.

Have an aviation-themed startup? Take it to the next level by participating in the Air Pitch Startup Competition 2018.

Skift Cheat Sheet:
We define a startup as a company formed to test and build a repeatable and scalable business model. Few companies meet that definition. The rare ones that do often attract venture capital. Their funding rounds come in waves.

Seed capital is money used to start a business, often led by angel investors and friends or family.

Series A financing is typically drawn from venture capitalists. The round aims to help a startup’s founders make sure that their product is something that customers truly want to buy.

Series B financing is mainly about venture capitalist firms helping a company grow faster, or scale up. These fundraising rounds can assist with recruiting skilled workers and developing cost-effective marketing.

Series C financing is ordinarily about helping a company expand, such as through acquisitions. In addition to VCs, hedge funds, investment banks, and private equity firms often participate.

Series D, E and beyond These mainly mature businesses and the funding round may help a company prepare to go public or be acquired. A variety of types of private investors might participate.

Check out our previous startup funding roundups, here. And also: Skift’s Top Travel Startups to Watch 2018.


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Tags: funding, startups, vcroundup

Photo credit: CEO Nakul Sharma, shown, said Hostmaker, a home rental management services company, had raised $5 million in venture debt. The London startup had raised a $15 million Series B round last November. Emily Sandy Photography / Hostmaker

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