This week in digital news, the Sri Lanka-based app makes its first step into hotel and flight booking, Ctrip gains four more seats on the board of MakeMyTrip, and a homesharing and co-working startup continues to raise millions.
Throughout the week we post dozens of original stories, connecting the dots across the travel industry, and every weekend we sum it all up. This weekend roundup examines digital trends.
For all of our weekend roundups, go here.
Grab Enters Travel Booking With Hotels Now and Flights Next: In the face of a fast-growing and innovative rival, Grab’s foray into travel, starting with hotels, could give it an edge over archrival Go-Jek, which does not do travel — yet.
China’s Ctrip Will Own Nearly Half of India’s MakeMyTrip After Share Swap: It makes sense that Ctrip, the market leader in China, would be interested in strategically working more closely with MakeMyTrip in the fast-growing Indian market. In a new deal, it now has five of the 10 board seats at India’s largest online travel agency group.
Selina Raises $100 Million for Its Millennial-Focused Lodging: Selina is riding a wave of venture capital investment like a dreadlocked surfer with remarkable poise. Come to Skift Forum Europe to hear CEO Rafael Museri explain how his startup may capsize the traditional hospitality model.
Rentals United Raises $4 Million for Distribution Tech: Travel Startup Funding This Week. This week’s startup funding announcements reveal broader industry investment themes, such as the need for marketing tools for the owners of short-term rentals and for talent recruitment technology to help fill labor gaps in the tourism industry.
Travelport’s Plan to Build Market Share With U.S. Airlines and Agencies: Travelport sees an opportunity to gain share with mid-market travel management companies in the U.S., which seems plausible. But it will need to keep up its pace of adopting new technologies and policies to pull that off.
Beyond Bookings: South Africa’s Travelstart Expands Into Media Space. Brands love an audience, and Travelstart boasts the best online travel booking numbers in Africa. Little wonder this leading online travel agency has expanded into the media space, offering brands and destination marketing organizations access to its audience. For a fee, of course.
Booking’s FareHarbor Kept the Bootstrapping Myth Going While Discreetly Raising Outside Money: Honesty is the best policy. Even if it clashes with a nice FareHarbor bootstrapping story that seemed too good to be true.
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Photo Credit: One of Grab's taxis. The app is taking its first steps into travel booking, with the aim of becoming a super app. Yoolim Lee / Bloomberg
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