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Each week we round up travel startups that have recently received or announced funding. Please email Senior Travel Tech Editor Sean O'Neill at email@example.com if you have funding news.
This week travel startups announced more than $309 million in funding.
Earlier this week, Tencent Holdings led a $250 million Series E investment round in Chinese travel company Mafengwo, a nine-year-old business like TripAdvisor that helps travelers plan trips based on recommendations from others.
>>Prowler.io, an artificial intelligence platform for decision-making, raised $24 million in a Series B round of investment.
Amadeus Capital Partners, which is unrelated to the travel technology company Amadeus, participated in the funding.
Clarification: An earlier version of this article used misleading language to describe the above point. Sorry.
Other investors included Tencent, China’s technology giant, Atlantic Bridge, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Mandatum Life, Passion Capital, Pearson, RB Capital, and SGInnovate. The funding placed a valuation of $100 million on the startup, which is based in Cambridge, UK, and has raised more than $38 million since its founding in 2016.
Prowler.io uses artificial intelligence to help organizations make better decisions of all kinds, such as managing supply chains and coordinating logistics. CEO Vishal Chatrath gave the example of Barcelona-based delivery startup Paack, which has used the tool to plan optimal routes for its drivers.
Instead of basing its knowledge only on historical data points, Prowler.io’s algorithms use mathematical probabilities to determine the most likely state of affairs and supplements that information with real-time data feeds where possible to help account for uncertainty.
Applications for the travel industry are obvious; however the company sees itself as relevant to multiple sectors.
>>Instawork, an on-demand staffing app matching workers with employers at hotels and restaurants, secured $18 million in Series B funding.
Spark Capital, GV, Burst Capital, Benchmark, Y Combinator, Tuesday Capital, and SV Angel participated in the round. The San Francisco-based startup has raised $28 million since its founding in 2015.
Instawork vets workers, such as servers and chefs, who can post their services and look for shifts in the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Chicago, via the platform’s Android and iOS mobile apps.
CEO Sumir Meghani co-founded Instawork in 2015, and he plans to expand its job marketplace to more U.S. cities in the next year.
>>Revenue Analytics, an Atlanta-based revenue management company, raised $11 million in Series A funding.
Noro-Moseley Partners led the round. Other investors included Blue Lagoon Capital.
Revenue Analytics, established in 2004, helps cruise lines, hotel groups, and non-travel companies plan how to set their rates and prices based on supply and demand factors.
>>Dawex, a data exchange technology company, raised $5.6 million (€5 million) in a Series A round.
Amadeus, the travel technology giant, participated in the round, along with Itochu, Bouygues Construction, Caisse des Dépôts, and others. Total funds raised since its founding in 2015 tops $13 million (€12 million).
Founded in San Francisco, Dawex enables private and public organizations to sell and buy any type of data directly.
Amadeus has invested in Dawex through Amadeus’ Venture program for investing in startups. Amadeus said it decided to invest in this forward-thinking start-up because of its know-how and commitment to leverage data to drive industry innovations such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and smart cities.
>>Outpost, a network of co-living and co-working spaces for remote workers, has raised $1.3 million seed round.
EverHaus, Strypes Holdings, and Clarenberg Ventures participated in the equity investment.
The Singapore-based company, founded in June 2015, hosts workers and travelers in Ubud and Canggu in Bali, Indonesia, and in Phnom Penh in Cambodia, with a fourth location to be announced soon.
Co-founders David Abraham and Bryan Stewart said Outpost provides a hub of services that its members buy into, such as communal living, co-working, and social programming. The company has about 60 workers today.
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.