Skift Take

This week travel startups announced funding for event management tech (RainFocus and B Network), luggage with power ports (Horizn Studios), short-term rental booking in Vietnam (Luxstay), and travel rewards tools for financial companies (Upgrade Pack).

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 $89 million in funding.

>>RainFocus, an event tech company, has raised $40 million in an unspecified “strategic growth” round.

JMI Equity led the investment. This is the first time the Lindon, Utah-based company has raised funding since its 2014 founding.

RainFocus, which employs 140 people, said that its marketing platform offers full event management platform from one cloud-based dashboard. One of its signature clients is Oracle, which has used it to manage customer events.

The event tech sector has been consolidating, though new players always pop up.

>>B Network, the booking and hotel management platform for event organizers, has raised $34.5 million (€30 million).

Ring Capital led the round.

The European company, founded in 2005, provides technology to help large event organizers manage events and distribution relationships with hoteliers. Organizers used its tools to host more than 130 events last year, including MobileWorldCongress, ILTM, and Cannes Lions.

>>Horizn Studios, a smart luggage startup, has raised an $11.5 million (€10 million) Series B financing round.

Investors included Milano Investment Partners, Project A, Ventures Vorwerk, Perpetual, Tarsadia, and Astutia.

The Berlin-based startup, has raised about $29 million (€25 million) in total since its founding in mid-2015.

The brand’s M5 model is a hard-shell suitcase built to fit in overhead carry-on bins, with a removable power bank with ports for up to six devices and sell at starting prices of about $310 (€269).

Bag purchases come with one-month free of access to a travel booking service for flights, hotels, and activities, run by luxury concierge service Quintessentially.

Horizn Studios, which has 70 workers, aims to use the funding to expand its direct-to-consumer sales outside of Europe.

>>Luxstay, a short-term rental booking site, has raised $3 million Series A round.

CyberAgent invested in the round.

The Vietnam-based company, which debuted in 2016, has signed up 10,000 apartment and other homestay properties in its home country. It has distribution deals with partners such as Rakuten Travel, part of e-commerce giant Rakuten.

Since its 2016 debut, LuxStay has raised a previous $3 million.

>>Upgrade Pack, a loyalty and financial technology startup, has raised about $1.27 million (£1 million) in what it calls a pre-seeding investment round.

The company helps banks, credit card issuers, and other companies reward their most valuable customers and employees with hotel and flight upgrades and other discounted travel.

The London-based company, founded last year, has 15 workers.

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.


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Tags: funding, startups, vcroundup

Photo credit: A recent Oracle OpenWorld event at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The tech company has used the event management services of startup RainFocus to handle its customer convention. RainFocus, an event tech company, has raised $40 million, while other travel startups have also raised venture capital rounds. Oracle

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