This week corporate travel tech startup Lola, attractions software builder Bookingkit, and hospitality job marketplace Jitjatjo collectively raised more than $53 million in funding.
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 $53 million in funding.
>>Lola, a travel management company, raised a $37 million Series C funding round.
General Catalyst and Accel led the investment. The Boston-based startup has raised nearly $80 million since its founding in 2015 by Paul English.
Mike Volpe, who became the startup’s CEO last year, said the company would use the money to double its head count across engineering, sales, and marketing this year. Lola will also accelerate technology development as part of its commercial partnership with American Express Global Business Travel (GBT).
Lola said that its 2018 revenues were 786 percent higher than in the previous year, but it didn’t specify any amounts.
>>Jitjatjo, a platform that matches people seeking work with restaurants, hotels, and event caterers, raised $11 million in Series A funding.
Morningside Technology Ventures led the round.
Launched in 2016, Jitjatjo focuses on hospitality sector jobs in New York City and Chicago.
>>Bookingkit, which builds software to help tour-and-activity operators manage, sell, and market their services, has obtained an undisclosed Series C round of financing.
Intermedia Vermögensverwaltung and Müller Medien led the round.
Bookingkit said the financing was in the “mid-single-digit millions” of euros. Last year, when it raised a Series B round, Bookingkit said its total funding at that point totaled more than $10 million.
The Berlin-based startup, which has 100 employees, said it’s now profitable in its German, Austrian, and Swiss markets. It distributes 33,000 listings for experiences, activities, and attractions in Europe to online aggregators and travel agencies like GetYourGuide and Ctrip.
Christoph Kruse and Lukas C. C. Hempel founded Bookingkit in 2014. Since then, Booking Holdings acquired similar company FareHarbor while TripAdvisor bought comparable company Bokun. Bookingkit is an example of how Germany has made strides toward becoming “Europe’s Silicon Valley” for travel startups.
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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Photo credit: Shown here is Lola.com CEO Mike Volpe. In March 2019, the Boston-based business travel startup said it had raised $37 million in fresh funding. Lola.com