Skift Take

The funding of business travel management startup Hotel Engine underscores how there's a lot of money and energy pouring into the sector.

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.

This week, travel startups announced more than $23 million in funding.

>>Hotel Engine, which offers online lodging management for businesses, has raised $16 million in Series A funding.

Telescope Partners led the round, which placed a more than $150 million valuation on the startup.

The Denver-based travel tech company, founded four years ago, is similar to well-funded startups like TripActions and TravelPerk. It offers hotel reservation and management solutions for the booking of more than 200,000 hotels. It has processed more than a million room nights, and it aims to provide transparency, billing, and support for more than 25,000 businesses small-and-medium-sized companies.

The startup is adding more than 10,000 users a month, said Elia Wallen, founder and CEO.

>>Fornova, a business intelligence (BI) provider for hotels, has raised a $7 million extension to their Series B round.

A/O PropTech led the extension with a strategic investment. In May 2017, Fornova raised $17 million in a series B round led by Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners, with JAL Ventures and Forestay Capital also participating. Those firms remain backers.

A/O will provide Fornova’s business intelligence platform to its 150 hotels in Europe and will work as a design partner to help the startup improve the tool.

In March, Fornova acquired Hotels BI, a software service that strives to pull data from multiple sources and identify relevant insights for revenue managers and sales and marketing teams.

Fornova, based in London and with 150 employees, provides a variety of distribution and business intelligence solutions for the hospitality sector.

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: A whiteboarding scene from the new Denver headquarters of Hotel Engine, a startup that offers online lodging management for businesses. Hotel Engine has raised $16 million in Series A funding. Hotel Engine

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