This week, travel startups Air Doctor (which helps travelers find doctors overseas), Hotelmize (which helps bedbanks automatically rebook hotel rooms when rates drop), and Huilianyi (a business travel expense manager), announced rounds of investment this week, in a bit of good news.
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 Tim Mullaney at [email protected] if you have funding news.
This week, travel startups announced more than $50 million in funding.
>>Huilianyi, known in the West as Helios, a company that provides middleware for corporate travel expense management, has secured $42 million (300 million yuan) in a Series C extension round of venture financing.
Huaxing led the round extension. Huilianyi had previously raised a total of $25 million in funding from investors like Softbank China Venture Capital, Blue Lake Capital, and Z Capital.
Huilianyi, founded in 2016, builds business travel and expense reimbursement systems for corporations like Fosun. It also makes integrations with a corporation’s financial management and other operational systems, such as ones provided by Oracle.
While Western workers often can either file invoices for reimbursement or use corporate cards, employees working for China-owned companies typically have to fill out a corporate invoice to receive reimbursement. So, companies like Huilianyi/helios, Hongju, and Yikuaibao attempt to smooth the process via mobile apps and other methods.
>>Air Doctor, a service that matches travelers with local doctors, has raised $7.8 million in a Series A funding round.
Kamet Ventures, a startup studio focusing on insurance technology and run by the insurer AXA, and Phoenix, an insurance company, led the round.
Air Doctor, based in a Jerusalem suburb, raised about $3.1 million in a seed round in 2018.
The startup helps sick travelers find non-emergency advice or treatment from a doctor speaking their language while they are away from their homes in 42 countries.
It said it can lower the costs of covering overseas health care for insurance companies and serve as an added perk for credit card companies and mobile operators to offer customers. In Israel, people enrolled in Phoenix’s insurance can use Air Doctor overseas without paying out-of-pocket fees.
>>Hotelmize, a rebooking for resellers of hotel rooms, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series B round of funding.
Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund and Brilliance Ventures led the round. The startup previously raised about $3.8 million in seed funding led by Investible.
Hotelmize, founded in Tel Aviv in 2015, offers a service to about 30 bedbanks and other hotel resellers, where it tracks the prices of refundable hotel rooms as they go up and down. Once a customer books a stay, Hotelmize can rebook the reservation if the rate subsequently drops, splitting the profit with the reseller.
Other brands, such as Yapta, Tingo, and Cancelon, have attempted to offer rebooking services, starting with consumer-facing offerings. Hotelmize has focused instead on hotel resellers that generate at least $100 million in gross bookings a year. Some of these resellers are, in turn, used by travel management companies to source inventory for customers.
“We can offer an average 0.8 percent profit on a hotel reseller’s total turnover,” said Co-founder and CEO Dor Krubiner. He said the validation by the Alibaba Hong Kong Entrepreneurs Fund would help the company win clients in Asia.
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.
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Photo credit: This is the Hilton Wuhan Optics Valley in Wuhan, China. Huilianyi, known in the West as Helios, a company that provides middleware for corporate travel expense management, has secured $42 million (300 million yuan) in a Series C extension round of venture financing. Hilton / Hilton