Skift Take

In the past seven days, travel startups announced more than $216 million in funding. But the hot market deserves a warning that paraphrases Fleetwood Mac: Investors only love you when they're investing. Funding will come and it will go. When the rain washes you clean you'll know. You'll know.

Series: Startups This Week

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.

Since last Friday travel startups announced more than $216 million in fresh funding.

On Thursday we reported that TravelPerk had closed its $104 million Series C round, the first $44 million of which we reported on last October. Kinnevik, partners of DST Global, Target Global, Felix Capital, Sunstone, and LocalGlobe participated. The company aims to build better business travel booking tools and has focused on Europe so far.

Earlier this week, Travelstop raised $3 million in a pre-Series A round led by top-tier U.S. venture firm Accel. The Singapore-based business travel management startup is led by co-founder Prashant Kirtane and former executives Vijay Aggarwal and Altaf Dhamani, who sold their past company, Travelmob, to Airbnb competitor HomeAway in 2013.

Finally, Skift reported on Life House having raised $100 million in a fresh round of funding.

Here’s this week’s other funding news.

>>EasyParcel, an online booking platform for parcel delivery, has received $10.6 million in Series B funding.

AirAsia’s cargo and logistics arm Teleport invested. So did Gobi Partners, a venture firm that heavily invests in travel startups.

The Penang-based online courier platform startup helps deliver small items for small and medium enterprises across AirAsia’s 10,000 flights per week. The funding will enable further network expansion.

>>HostNFly, a services company for property owners and managers of short-term vacation rentals, raised $10 million in a Series A round.

Highgate Ventures led the round in the Paris-based startup, which has raised $13 million to date.

HostNFly aims to help hosts with the online marketing and physical management of units.

>>Virtway, which helps create 3D virtual experiences for events such as conferences, raised about $4.1 million (€4 million). It didn’t disclose the investor names or the series type.

Virtway, launched in Spain five years ago, claims to simulate a 3D experience of events. It also lets remote attendees interact with an event via their computers or mobile devices.

>>Avian, an online platform connecting airlines and travel agencies and to digitalize sales targets and incentives, has closed $2 million funding in pre-seed funding.

Village Global, Journey Ventures, and some angel investors participated. CEO and co-founder Mickey Haslavsky previously co-founded RapidAPI, a marketplace for application programming interfaces. CTO Oran Epelbaum was formerly a CTO at a large cybersecurity startup.

In brief, airlines often incentivize travel agencies with commissions. But the incentive process is typically managed manually. As a result, online travel agencies and travel management companies must cope with dozens of contracts. Avian scans and tracks these contracts, matching them with their sales performance.

CEO Haslavsky ultimately aims to enable airlines to run incentive campaigns via online platforms tailored by route, region, or other variables. He intends to build a tool that could communicate these real-time offers to a travel agency more quickly than today’s processes can.

>>SignAll, whose technology translates American Sign Language to spoken and written English to help the deaf and hard of hearing, has raised about $1.9 million (€1.7 million) in its second round of financing to date that, while not specified, was approximately equivalent to a Series A.

Hiventures led the round, with past investor Credo Ventures also participating.

SignAll has raised about $3.6 million (€3.2 million) in equity investment to date.

The Budapest-based company has 20 full-time in-house employees.

CEO Zsolt Robotka said the company had piloted its technology at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, and other projects in Houston and Salt Lake City. Its primary focus is the U.S. market to start.

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 Skift’s Top Travel Startups to Watch in 2019, here.


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Tags: funding, startups, vcroundup

Photo credit: EasyParcel, an online booking platform for parcel delivery, has received $10.6 million in Series B funding. EasyParcel

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