Skift Take

A wave of fundings is helping startups like CrowdRiff and Travel Appeal develop tools to help travel marketers be more efficient.

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.

Earlier this week we covered Hopper’s $100 million Series D funding. The total funding publicized this week was more than $112 million.

>>CrowdRiff, maker of a tool to help travel and tourism marketers use the best visuals for their work, has raised a $9 million Series A funding round.

Leaders Fund led the round. High Alpha Capital, Gibraltar and Company, and BDC Capital also participated. The startup had previously raised $2 million in seed funding near its founding in 2016.

CrowdRiff connects travel companies with visual content to attract and convert customers. Its software-as-a-service tool as a way to combine content discovery, digital asset management, and content delivery tools to enable marketers to source and share top performing visuals at scale, said Dan Holowack, co-founder and CEO.

The Toronto-based company has upwards of 500 travel and tourism brands as clients in 24 countries. Clients include West Jet, Visit Indy, Destination BC, Colorado Tourism Office, CityPASS, and Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions.

There are 65 full-time employees at the company.

>>Travel Appeal, which uses artificial intelligence to collect and analyze online travel data to suggest tactics to tourism operators for boosting their online positioning and reputation, has raised a $3.45 million, or €3 million, Series A round.

Indaco Ventures I and Airbridge Equity Partners were key investors in the round. The company was fostered at the Italian startup innovation hub H-Farm.

The Florence, Italy-based startup had raised $377,840 in a pre-seed round that included capital from the H-FARM innovation hub.

Founded in 2014, Travel Appeal provides software to more than 4,000 small hotels, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, camping sites, and museums to help with their marketing.

Travel Appeal aims to double the turnover year on year and exceed €25 million by 2021, said Mirko Lalli, CEO of Travel Appeal. It has a total of 4 offices, two in Italy – Florence and Treviso – one in Amsterdam and one in London, and employs 30 people.

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: CrowdRiff, funding, startups, vcroundup

Photo credit: Visitors in a scenic backdrop in Savannah, Georgia. It's one of the types of images that can be easier to manage thanks to CrowdRiff, a startup that has received fresh funding. Visit Savannah

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