Skift Take

Innovations that cities are incubating today will serve the travel industry tomorrow, as Skift noted as a megatrend earlier this year. The story of Ubicquia, a smart city startup, makes the point. Potential applications of its tech include resort areas and theme parks.

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 $30 million in funding.

>>Ubicquia, which provides tech for cities, closed a $30 million Series C funding round with participation from Fuel Venture Capital and other investors.

Ubicquia’s devices plug into the photocell sockets of existing streetlights and transformer polls. The gizmos add advanced light control, public Wi-Fi, private LTE internet signal support, and video cameras powered by artificial intelligence to help authorities manage traffic and track public safety. The technology is compatible with 300 million streetlights globally, the company said.

Ubicquia, based in Fort Lauderdale, has deployed its tech in more than 100 cities in the Americas. Earlier this year, the startup acquired its rival CityIQ from GE Current, which has more than 8,000 cameras deployed across the U.S. and Canada to enhance traffic optimization and public safety.

While cities are deploying the concept today, the idea could be modified and applied to enhance resort areas, vacation rental communities, cruise ships, theme parks, and cultural villages. For more context, see Travel Megatrends 2020: The Future of Travel Will Be Driven by Urban Living Innovations. The market for smart city tech could reach $60 billion within seven years according to current market leader Telensa.

>>UpJaunt, a connector of travelers, influencers, and businesses around travel stories, has raised $530,000 in seed funding.

The basic pitch of this New York startup is like a Snapchat Story for travel. Travelers share stories of the trips, others follow and comment, and businesses find ways to monetize it.

For more on startups, read this week’s story 5 Travel Startups Saved by Funding in a Nick of Time Just Before the Crisis.

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: Street lights that can be retrofitted with new tech. Ubicquia, which provides smart cities tech, closed a $30 million Series C funding round with participation from Fuel Venture Capital and other investors. Ubicquia

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