Skift Take

Of particular note this week is that top-tier European venture capital firm Lakestar has bet on two companies: Impala, which helps hotels talk to other businesses, and Limehome, a next-generation hotel brand. Lakestar is best known for having invested early in companies like Airbnb, Skype, and Spotify. The travel sector can use all the smart money it can get.

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 Limehome, PredictHQ, Impala, Habitas, Tourkrub, and BizAway together raised more than $96 million in funding.

>>Limehome, which manages short-term rentals with hotel-like service, has raised $23 million (€21 million).

Lakestar led the round.

Limehouse, a Munich-based company, manages units that are licensed to operate as hotels and come with hotel-like amenities. It aims to automate every part of the hotel business, including check-in, pricing, and guest service. Limehouse has properties in 34 places in Germany and Austria and plans to expand in other markets.

>>PredictHQ, the demand intelligence company, announced $22 million in Series B funding led by Sutter Hill Ventures and joined by existing investors.

Sutter Hill, arguably the oldest venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, is leading the round. The company raised $10 million in Series A funding in 2018.

The startup claims to track “real-world events,” like coronavirus or the World Cup, and forecast how each event will affect rises and falls in traveler demand. Customers include airlines like Qantas, hospitality brands called Sonder, and online travel agencies like

PredictHQ collects and vets data on nearly 25 million events. It correlates historical patterns to predict future ones. The company said its revenue grew by about 125 percent last year.

>>Impala, a software service that offers data about hotel rooms, has raised $20 million in Series B funding.

Lakestar led the round. Latitude Ventures and other investors also participated. It was only last fall that Impala closed an $11 million Series A round.

The London-based company tries to make it easier and cheaper for hotels to plug their property management systems into the solutions offered by small-tech vendors. If a hotel wants to add, say, door locks that guests can open electronically via mobile apps, it can do so more efficiently by using the “pipes” from Impala. For more context, see our story “Hotels Are Finding Cheaper Ways to Connect to Tech Vendors, which mentions other players with overlapping approaches, like Hapi, Mews, Protel, and SiteMinder.

Impala uses “robotic process automation” to access data from hotel systems. The company said this includes data about individual rooms, such as square footage, the presence of a bathtub, or whether the room has a view, which it can then provide to travel agencies. It can also connect with “smart hotel” technologies that use internet-connected devices for operations, such as thermostats, keycards, and TVs.

>>Habitas, makers of 3D-printed hotels, raised $20 million in Series A funding.

Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick participated in the funding of the startup, founded in 2014. The company has a property operational in Tulum, Mexico. For more details on the company, see our earlier story.

>>Tourkrub, which distributes tour packages online, has raised a $5 million Series B funding round.

Investors included King Power Click, a subsidiary of travel agency group King Power. 500 TukTuks and others also participated.

The Thai-based company, founded in 2016, previously raised a $3 million round. Last year, about 40,000 users booked a tour through the startup. This year, Tourkrub aims to reach 100,000 users.

>>BizAway, a business travel management service, has raised about $2.7 million (€2.5 million) in seed investment.

MundiVentures led the round in the Italy-headquartered startup.

BizAway has 35 workers and reached more than $3.8 million (€3.5 million) in revenue, or turnover, last year. It plans to hire 25 more employees.

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.

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.

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Tags: funding, startups, vcroundup

Photo credit: An example of a Limehome property. The Munich-based startup manages short-term rentals with hotel-like service. It has raised $23 million (€21 million).  Limehome

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