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Each week we round up travel startups that have recently received or announced funding. Please email Senior Travel Tech Editor Sean O'Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have funding news.
Update Sept. 7: Skift published information about a potential round of funding for a startup that one of the company’s investors has since said had not been finalized. We regret the error. This article has been updated to remove the details until we can confirm them.
>>TripCreator, an itinerary management and travel booking startup, has raised $8 million in a seed round of financing from undisclosed angel investors and Iceland’s Technology Development Fund.
The Reykjavík, Iceland-based company helps travel professionals build leisure and business trip itineraries. Its customers include travel agencies Tumlare, Grayline Iceland, and WOW Airlines.
The company’s software can help an agent recommend points of interest and travel products based on profitability, available inventory, and other factors.
Its itineraries can be integrated with third-party services to provide a complete set of trip plans, including driving directions and mobile-based updates around flight delays.
>>Duffel, a travel startup, has received a seed investment round of $4.7 million.
Blossom Capital led the round, with Index Ventures participating. The startup has participated in the Y Combinator accelerator program that previously incubated companies like Airbnb and Hipmunk.
The London-based startup remains in stealth mode. It appears the company aims to challenge the reservations technology used by suppliers to distribute their inventory and by agents to book products. Steve Domin, Vincent Pastor, and Tom Bates — former engineers of GoCardless, a platform for collecting recurrent payments — founded the company in 2017.
>>Paravel, a luggage manufacturer, has raised $3.2 million in seed funding.
Fitz Gate Ventures and 8VC led the round. The direct-to-consumer startup, founded in 2016, describes its colorful mix of luggage and packing cubes as being distinctive for easily collapsing flat for storage or for stashing an extra suitcase in a different bag.
It is rare that venture capital invests in the makers of consumer goods in established product categories. However Away, a luggage maker based in New York, has raised a Series C round of $50 million in June — bringing its total fundraising to $81 million. Away also announced that it reached profitability in under two years.
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. 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.