Skift Take

Two startups that stand out in this funding roundup are Beekeeper, an operational communications service for staff at hotels and other companies, and Mystifly, an aviation retailing and payments platform.

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 $20 million in funding.

>>Beekeeper, an operational communications platform for hourly workers, has raised a $10 million extension to its Series B round — bringing the round to $60 million.

Energize Ventures led the round.

The Oakland, Calif.-based Beekeeper has clients in several industries, but hotel groups like Sixty Hotels, Hyatt, and Mandarin Oriental are among its notable users.

Beekeeper said it offers a single point of contact for frontline workers and their processes and systems. See our earlier profile of the company, one of Skift’s top startups to watch in 2019.

>>Miles, a loyalty program for all forms of travel and transportation, said it had received a unspecified new investment from Liil Ventures that brought its total amount raised to date to $7.1 million.

Liil Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of Mobility ADO – a passenger mobility company that last year served about 650 million passengers in Latin America and Europe. Other investors include JetBlue Technology Ventures.

In the past two months, Miles added about 50 new reward options. It recently surpassed a half-million reward redemptions by its users.

>>Mystifly, an air retailing and payments platform, has raised $3.3 million in a pre-Series B financing round.

Recruit Holdings, an arm of Japan’s biggest internet company, led the round. Recruit invested $5 million in Mystifly in 2016.

The Bengaluru-based Mystifly offers software to automate airline ticketing distribution and fulfillment for offline travel agents and online travel aggregators. It also has tools for processing travel payments.

The startup has been busy. In November 2019, it debuted a product offering automated cancellations and changes for airline ticketing. In February 2020, it unveiled a next-generation airline retailing platform.

Founded in 2009, the company has an office in Singapore and about 140 workers worldwide.

>>Narrative, a startup that uses artificial intelligence to help photographers cull images from shoots and post their best pictures to blogs, raised about $2 million.

Founders Fund led the round in the Auckland-based company, which many traveling photographers use.

>>GoDutch, a group payments service, has raised $1.7 million in a seed round of investment.

Matrix Partners India led the round. Y Combinator, Global Founders Capital, Soma Capital, VentureSouq, and others participated.

GoDutch’s software lets people split and settle group payments for travel, dining, and other purposes. The company’s payment card, issued by CSB Bank, offers instant splitting of group payments at online or offline merchants.

>>Frequency, which offers technology to improve communications between pilots, air traffic controllers, and airport terminal management teams, has raised about $400,000 (€350,000) on the Spark Crowdfunding platform.

The Dublin, Ireland-based company, founded by three former Aer Lingus pilots, has also secured about a $58,000 (€50,000) grant from Enterprise Ireland.

>>Milla Travel, Latin America’s latest online travel startup, is closing a round of seed funding. It has already raised money from Planatus Ventures, as Skift reported late last week.

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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Tags: funding, startups, vcroundup

Photo credit: A SixtyHotels property in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City. The property uses Beekeeper software as a hub for all operational communications. SixtyHotels

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