This week’s travel startups, including Sonder, StayPlease, and Bolt, released a series of funding announcements, many of them for undisclosed amounts.
Travel Startup Funding This Week
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 protected] if you have funding news.
This week travel startups announced nearly $230 million in funding, and significantly more in undisclosed amounts. Here’s the latest.
Earlier this week we covered the boutique hotel-style accommodations business Sonder, which has raised $225 million as part of its latest funding round. The total includes $210 million in Series D funding led by Valor Equity, Westcap, and Nicholas Pritzker, through Tao Capital Partners. Here are other companies that announced recently that they had raised funding.
>>StayPlease is a hospitality tech platform used for operations and guest relations — pithily described a “Slack for hotels.” The Hong Kong-based company raised a “USD seven-digit Series A” funding amount, according to a press release, led by MindWorks ventures, a firm that invests in high-growth companies in China and Southeast Asia. StayPlease is already in use at hotel brands including InterContinental Hotel Group, Dusit International, CItizenM, and Langham Hospitality and has plans for further expansion as well as product enhancements.
>>CozyCozy, an accommodation search engine and aggregator, raised $4.5 million (€4 million) in funding from Daphni and CapDecisif et Raise, two firms that specialize in early-stage companies, as well as from angel investors. The Paris-based startup is designed to collect accommodation units from all major platforms including Booking.com, Airbnb, and French OTAs to allow the consumer to browse all in one place. (This funding was first announced at the end of June, but previously unreported in prior roundups.)
>>Bolt, the Estonian startup offering the trifecta of ride-sharing, food delivery, and scooter rental, raised an undisclosed amount of Series C funding, reporting from TechCrunch confirmed. The round is rumored to be in the range of $60-70 million (€60 million) and backed by the likes of Nordic Ninjasas, Naya Capital, Creandum, G Squared and the Estonian fund Superangel. The company (formerly known as Taxify) confirmed to TechCrunch that it plans to use the funding to expand to new markets, including in London.
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.
Photo credit: StayPlease is like Slack for hotels. StayPlease