Skift Take

Tiqets tackled the hard problem of helping many museums that lacked tech savvy to adopt modern sales techniques. Now it's seeing a payoff. In other news, events tech company Headbox and online travel agency Sastaticket raised money.

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.

This week startups announced more than $262.6 million in funding.

Earlier this week we reported on Sojern, a travel tech startup, having raised a $120 million Series D round.

We also reported that BlaBlaCar, the world’s largest long-distance ridesharing community, had received a $113 million (€101 million) Series D extension in BlaBlaCar as a new investor from state-owned rail operator SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français).

Here are other companies that announced this week that they had raised funding.

>>Tiqets, an attractions booking startup, has raised $23 million as an extension of the company’s Series B funding round.

HPE Growth Capital led the round.

Founded in 2014, the 120-employee Tiqets is based in Amsterdam and has raised $44.5 million in total, to date.

It provides a platform for consumers to book admission tickets for museums and attractions, and it distributes tickets via more than 1,500 affiliates and other partners. Tiqets has a real-time connectivity with venues, which lets it provide last-minute and mobile entrance sales as well via demand aggregators, such as Google, WeChat, and Veltra.

Tiqets also offers museums and attractions technology that helps increase onsite conversion and marketing tools to encourage customers to become repeat visitors.

“Tiqets invested heavily in its technology in the last years, which has paid off,” said Luuc Elzinga, CEO of Tiqets.

Tiqets bragged that it took only four years for it to distribute 7 million tickets, while GetYourGuide, the best-funded online marketplace for tours-and-activities, took a decade to sell 20 million tickets. If nothing else, claims like those suggest that online sales of tours and activities continue to snowball.

>>HeadBox, an event tech company, has raised $5.1 million, or £4 million, in a Series A round.

Guinness Asset Management led the round. The startup has raised a total of $10.5 million, or £8.2 million, since its launch in 2015.

It lists 5,500 meeting, offsite, and event spaces in seven UK cities for meeting planners to book. The company plans to expand next year to markets such as Dublin, Amsterdam, Paris, and Berlin.

Headbox, which has 52 employees, recently launched an online marketplace for researching venues. It also offers a software tool for corporate clients as help for booking events. It offers venue management software for host venues, too, which helps organizers collect bookings and payments online and manage customer relationships.

The company nearly tripled its sales in 2018, year-over-year, it said.

>>, an online travel agency, raised $1.5 million in Series A funding.

Gobi Partners led the round.

Founded in September 2016 in Karachi, Pakistan, sells flights and hotels online.

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: The Tiqets team at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The attractions booking company has raised a fresh round of funding. Tiqets

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