Skift Take

Frontify helps companies like Lufthansa keep their brand assets in order, while Upgrade Pack offers a subscription service for access to exclusive discounts on flight and hotel upgrades, plus other interesting startup ideas in this week's funding roundup.

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, startups of interest to the travel sector publicized more than $30 million in funding.

>>Frontify, a brand management platform, has raised $22.3 million in Series B investment.

EQT Ventures led the round. Blossom Capital, Datartis Ventures, Tenderloin Ventures, and others invested, too. The startup raised an $8.3 million Series A round two years ago.

Frontify isn’t a travel startup, but many of the company’s 2,500 clients are travel businesses. For example, Lufthansa unified its branding guidelines across departments with the tool, which is used by more than 1,200 of the airline group’s 120,000 employees.

On a smaller scale, Ticino Turismo, the tourism marketing organization of the Swiss region of Ticino, uses Frontify to make sure that the most current digital assets, such as ads, videos, and logos, are consistently used internally and externally.

Frontify is based in St. Gallen, Switzerland and launched in 2013.

>>Upgrade Pack, a travel rewards financial technology startup, has had an extension to its seed round of funding that had reached $4.3 million last August as Skift reported. The company has now raised more than $6.5 million (£5 million) in the seed round overall from undisclosed investors.

The company, founded about 18 months ago in the London area, offers leisure travelers who pay a subscription fee access to “exclusive discounts” on flight and hotel upgrades. The startup plans to open a Toronto office by June.

>>Get-E, which runs a tech-enabled transportation service for business travel, has raised $2.5 million (€2.25 million) in seed funding.

Axivate Capital led the round.

Based in Hoofddorp in the Netherlands, Get-E offers transport for individuals and also for airlines such as Ryanair and CityJet to arrange the tricky ground logistics of flight crew transport.

>>NexTravel, a corporate travel booking service, has raised $2.4 million in Series A funding.

Pipeline Angels and Quest Ventures participated in the investment round in the New York-based company.

Founded in 2013 as travel concierge company Jetaway, NexTravel pivoted to serves as a tech-enabled travel management company. It launched out of the famous YCombinator startup incubator in early 2015.

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. These fundraising rounds can assist in 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: Frontify Founder and CEO Roger Dudler launched the brand management platform in 2013. The startup, based in St. Gallen, Switzerland, has now raised fresh funding. Frontify

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