Skift Take

Travel startups Oyo, Gett, Bolin, Luxtripper, Kambr, Sweep, and Salestrip recently announced fundraisings, showing continued investor interest in the sector.

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 $45 million in funding.

Skift earlier reported that Gett, a corporate travel ground transportation startup, which added $15 million extension to a $100 million funding round announced in June. For context, see our story “Online Business Travel Platforms See Consolidation, New Funding.”

In other news, online travel metasearch brand Trivago bought the startup Weekend, which had disclosed raising about $6.5 million (€5.25 million) in a corporate investment round in 2018 with Travelzoo and Vilauma participating.

Weekend founder and CEO Tobias Boese said his brand, which helps travelers inspirational weekend getaway packages, would continue to grow thanks to ownership support of Trivago, which is also based in Düsseldorf.

>>Oyo, the budget hotel franchiser and vacation rental aggregator based in Gurugram, India, said it has received two investments this month.

Martin Söderström, a Swedish businessman who founded DIG Investment, made an undisclosed investment and joined the board of directors for Oyo’s European Vacation Homes unit.

Söderström will assist with exploring mergers and acquisitions, Oyo said.

In a separate move, Hindustan Media Ventures invested about $7.4 million (54 crore rupees) in Oyo in an extension to the startup’s Series F funding, the Press Trust of India first reported.

In March 2020, Oyo Hotels & Homes raised $807 million in Series F funding from RA Hospitality and a unit of SoftBank Vision Fund. This latest investment was an extension of that round.

>>Bolin, a franchiser of premium hotel brands in China such as MorningInn and Till Bright Hotel, has received a $14.9 million strategic investment from online travel service company Tongcheng Group, Ebrun reported.

Tongcheng’s larger rival, Group, has already established its own hotel brand Rezen in 2018 and has also invested in Zhejiang New Century Hotel Management. Meituan, a lifestyle services platform backed by Booking Holdings, may invest in another domestic hotel chain, Dongzheng Hotel, as first reported by Jiemian. The news lines up with Skift’s Megatrends 2025, which explains why travel sectors will get scrambled.

>>Kambr, a travel tech startup, has closed a $3 million seed funding round,

Private equity investors Jim Collis and Bill Luby and industry veteran Michael Scheeringa led the round.

Kambr has raised a total of $7 million since its founding in Amsterdam in 2019. Founder Collective, Global Founders Capital, Studio VC, Silicon Badia, C2 Ventures Capital Partners, and TXV Partners are among its backers.

The startup, a software developer for airlines as well as a consultancy, said it has grown through customer acquisition and personnel additions despite the global pandemic.

Its current flagship product helps five unnamed “global airlines” with revenue management. The company recently hired Sean Moriarty as its chief technology officer.

“A key differentiator of Kambr is the focus on total commercial optimization of a customer versus fare-based revenue management,” said investor S. Michael Scheeringa of SAR Trilogy Management. One of Kambr’s other marketing points is that its product can plug into an airline’s existing tech stack, instead of uprooting entire systems, the company said.

For more context, read Skift’s Airlines Tweak Their Pricing Strategies to Adopt New Ways to Boost Revenue.

>>Luxtripper, a luxury travel company, raised $1.6 million (£1.2 million) in funding from angel investors.

Based in London, the startup has raised about $4.25 million (£3.1 million) since its founding in 2015. Nena Chaletz is the founder and CEO of the travel agency, which uses technology to empower agents to focus on more high-touch work with customers. The brand focuses on experiential, multi-destination, and adventure travel. Pre-pandemic sales in the year to March 2020 reached about $9.5 million (£7 million), Travolution reported.

>>SalesTrip, a business travel startup, has closed a $1.4 million seed round of financing, led by Floreat Group.

The London-based company, which launched in 2019 and has raised more than $3 million to date, builds on the widely used Salesforce customer-relationship management software. It aims to help companies keep travel expenses by salespeople proportional to individual prospects’ potential revenue value. At last year’s Dreamforce event, Salesforce executives recognized the company as one of its “most innovative” partners out of more than 5,000.

The startup says it has experienced 250 percent year-over-year growth.

“SalesTrip has proven it has the flexibility, adaptability, and strength of its SaaS platform and has thrived despite the global pandemic,” said Karim Jallad, managing director at Floreat Principal Investing.

For more context on Salestrip, read Skift’s December story “3 Ways Salesforce’s Purchase of Slack Will Shake Up Corporate Travel.”

>>Sweep, an expense and travel management platform for small and medium sized businesses, has raised about $1.4 million (€1 million) in investments via crowd-funding and a grant from Innovate UK.

The app uses “open banking technology” to help streamline the process of managing business travel and expenses.

Kyte, a rental car booking service in the U.S. that delivers vehicles to a customer’s door, raised $9 million earlier this month.

DN Capital and Amplo VC participated.

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: One of Oyo's vacation homes in Sweden and Denmark. Oyo Vacation Homes

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