Skift Take

Accor's backing of Travelsify is eye-opening. It suggests that the hotel giant will take advantage of the startup's artificial intelligence-powered engine, which collects data about hotels, restaurants, and vacation rentals to boost online marketing and discovery.

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 $8.3 million. That doesn’t include the commitment that Oyo, the next-generation hotel brand based in India, which said this week it had received $1 billion in commitments for funding.

>>Travelsify, has raised $5.8 million, or €5 million, in seed funding.

AccorHotels led the round. Travelsify has raised $9.3 million, or €8 million, to date.

The company is an artificial intelligence-powered engine that collects and generates information about restaurants, hotels, and vacation rentals that can facilitate more sophisticated marketing and recommendations. Travelsify’s database offers what it calls product DNA data for more than 500,000 hotels and more than 500,000 restaurants.

The startup, founded in April 2016, has 17 full-time employees at offices in New York City and Luxembourg, said Alexandra Fernández Ramos, chief product and sales officer.

Travelsify will “use the capital to help hospitality groups and booking platforms to foster cross-brand discovery and cross-product sales amongst their customer base,” the company said. It’s launching a brand analytics tool to help hospitality groups.

“Better matching and delighting guests with the right hotels is at the heart of AccorHotels’ mission,” said Ian Di Tullio, SVP guest services at AccorHotels in a statement. “The number of AccorHotels services that could benefit from Travelsify Product DNA data is countless.”

>>Onda, a subscription platform that allows vetted people access to a variety of private members clubs, co-working, and health clubs worldwide, has received a seed investment of $2.5 million

The lead investors were equally Peter Lowy, co-founder of Westfield Corporation, Lavinia Errico, founder of Equinox clubs, and Carol Ann Emquies, founder of Stateside.

Onda, launched in March 2018, has 12 full-time employees. Founder Luca Del Bono has previous founded Quintessentially, a private members’ club, and London’s South Kensington Club.

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: Shown here are the leaders of Travelsify, a startup that has raised a round of funding led by Accor. In the center is CEO Bruno Chauvat. To the right is Alexandra Fernández Ramos, chief product and sales officer. To the left is Dr Alexander Weber, the third co-founder. Travelsify

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