Skift Take

Analyzing startups helps us understand what the future of travel holds. The latest generation of startups promises innovation across many facets of travel: hospitality, tours, airlines, business travel, and more.

Want to know the future of travel? One way to get a glimpse forward is to look at what startups in travel are building today.

Startups matters for everyone involved in our travel ecosystem. Startup founders can often see the future opportunity but executing is always harder than it looks. It requires strong partnerships with both customers and venture capitalists. Corporate executives need to understand what is coming down the pike in the startup world or risk being “airbnb’ed.”

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Travel is one of the world’s largest industries, ripe for innovation and disruption. That’s exactly what the latest wave of travel startups is bringing to the table. That wave rose to new heights in 2018, when startups raised $7.5 billion of venture capital, across 647 deals, the highest level of travel venture funding ever.

Those numbers and more are according to Skift Research analysis of Crunchbase data. After screening and manually cleaning the data to isolate startups primarily focused on travel, excluding secondary travel startups such as ride hailing apps, our universe consists of 3,269 unique companies and 5,410 private funding rounds dating back to 1997.

We find that the scope of travel venture capital has expanded as well and no longer does just one company, like Airbnb, dominate the conversation. Startups are making their presence known across nearly every travel sub-sector: hospitality, alternative accommodations, tours and activities, air transportation, and business travel.

In this report, we examine venture investment trends in travel to understand where startups are innovating and growing. Travel startups of the last few years have already disrupted some of the largest sectors in our industry and we expect this momentum to continue.

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What you’ll learn from this report:

  • An overview of travel startup financing market
  • Regional trends in travel venture capital
  • Highlights of which subsectors are attracting the most investor attention
  • Deep dives into startup trends in accommodations, tours and activities, air transportation, and business travel

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This is the latest Skift Research report aimed at analyzing the fault lines of disruption in travel. These reports are intended for the busy travel industry decision-maker. Tap into the opinions and insights of our seasoned network of staffers and contributors. More than 200 hours of desk research, data collection, and/or analysis goes into each report.

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Tags: funding, skift research, startups, venture capital

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