Skift Take

This week's travel startup funding announcements included bets on the popular themes of vacation rentals, co-living, corporate and business travel, and expense management.

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 travel startups announced more than $13 million in funding.

>>AvantStay, a short-term rental company specializing in six-guest-plus group bookings, has received $5 million in funding — adding to a previous $1 million in seed funding that it has raised.

Bullpen Capital led the round. F-Prime Capital, Zeno Ventures, and Convivialité Ventures also participated.

The company, founded in 2017 in West Hollywood, offers more than 80 luxury properties across seven U.S. markets, including San Diego, Tahoe, Coachella Valley, and Temecula.

AvantStay, which has more than 35 full-time employees relies on tech automation to communicate with guests, manage maintenance and cleaning, and deliver exceptional customer service.

“We make sure the kitchen is cook-ready, in addition to having on-demand chefs available for those who don’t, said Reuben Doetsch, co-founder.

>>Expensya, a maker of expense management software, has raised a $4.5 million (€4 million) round of funding.

Seventure Partners and ISAI led the round.

The software helps business people manage expense reports of all kinds, but travel expenses are a major part. The Tunisian company, founded in 2014, has nearly 60 workers and has signed partnerships with many large European corporate groups to cover the entire business travel process.

>>Projects Co-living, a Berlin-based company, said it had raised about $2.25 million (€2 million) in an investment round.

P101 led the round. The startup had previously raised about $570,000.

The company, founded in 2017, helps young professionals to find temporary places to live that emphasize socializing and locations close to tech employers. Apartments are shared or private and come fully furbished with services.

>>Tripla, a corporate travel startup, has raised about $2.2 million (250 million yen) in a seed round from undisclosed domestic major IT companies.

The Tokyo-based startup is a joint venture among Innovation Engine, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Capital, Sansei Capital, and others.

Tripla offers an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot to provide multilingual answers for hotels and restaurants to customer questions. Hotels and restaurants can integrate the chatbot into their websites. About 230 businesses have signed up for its services, so far, and it recently signed a partnership with the messaging platform Line.

>>C Teleport, an online travel agency that lets people search, compare, and book marine flights, has raised $1.36 million (€1.2 million) in seed investment.

Mainport Innovation Fund II, a travel-focused fund, led the investment.

Several shipping companies wanting to bring travel management for their crews in-house have turned to C Teleport’s software because it provides travel booking, budget control systems, invoice tracking, and other travel management tools.

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. Have a happy new year!

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Tags: funding, startups, vcroundup

Photo credit: Shown here is an AvantStay rental property in Rancho, California. The short-term rental company specializing in six-guest-plus group bookings has received $5 million in funding. AvantStay

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