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Each week we round up travel startups that have recently received or announced funding. Please email Senior Travel Tech Editor Sean O'Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have funding news.
This week, travel startups announced more than $215 million in funding.
>>Klook, an online travel agency focused on experiences and attractions, raised $200 million in funding, as Skift reported earlier this week. Aspex Management led the round, with existing investors, such as Sequoia Capital China, Softbank Vision Fund 1, Matrix Partners China, and Boyu Capital, also taking part. The Hong Kong-based startup has now raised more than $720 million since its founding in 2014.
>> Dingdandao (Smart Order), which provides software to help managers of short-term rental and vacation homes run their businesses, has raised $10.8 million (70 million renminbi) in a Series A round.
The Hangzhou-based company, founded in 2015, said it had more than 32,000 homestay providers using its services in China, out of an estimated 170,000 in mainland China. The startup is also expanding into services for small hotels, said CEO Aixiang Shen.
The property management system maker helps properties advertise on social media platforms such as WeChat and e-commerce giants such as Mafengwo, Airbnb, and Pinduoduo.
China’s vacation rental and homestay market generated sales of about $2.8 billion (19.1 billion yuan) in 2018, according to government statistics, but is expected to surge post-pandemic.
>>Bbot, a startup that aims to streamline food ordering via digital menus and billing and tipping for restaurants and hotels, added $4 million to a seed round, bringing the seed round funding total to $7.3 million.
Rally Ventures led the round. Craft Ventures is a previous investor.
The New York City-based company was founded in 2017.
>>Vista Rooms, a soft brand seller of luxury vacation rentals, raised $1.37 million in seed funding.
DSG Consumer Partners led the round.
The Mumbai-based startup offers more than 500 villas near Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore. It has recently expanded to add homes outside of India in Sri Lanka. It claims to have served more than 5 million guests since its founding in 2015.
The company offers property management services and helps market properties to guests, including with the help of social media influencers.
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 the 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.