This week, travel startups announced more than $145 million in funding. Concepts included biometric security, mobile check-in for hotel rooms, booking hotel rooms in Vietnam, a membership-service for Chinese hotel resorts, and a digital concierge for intra-African travel.
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 Sean O’Neill at [email protected] if you have funding news.
This week, travel startups announced more than $145 million in funding.
>>StayMyWay, a maker of contactless technology for hotels, has raised more than $3.7 million (€3 million) and is now launching a new investment round.
StayMyWay’s technology lets hotel guests gain access to their rooms without stopping at the front desk. Guests take a picture of themselves and their passport or another identification document using their smartphone. The company uses technology to verify the guest’s identity and issue a key to a room.
StayMyWay was born in Murcia in 2014 and has offices in Europe and the United States, said Faustino Fernandez, founder and CEO.
>>Ructrip, a travel tech startup in China, has closed a Series A round of financing in an undisclosed amount.
Investors include Huagai Capital, Qingcong Capital, Tipping Point Capital, Dangdai Group Certain Capital, Meridian, Kalends, Vision Capital, and others.
Founded in April 2019, Ructrip is a membership-based service providing access to vacation accommodation, especially resort hotels, in 65 cities and resort destinations, as first reported by Wenlvpai.
The Vietnam-based startup makes a mobile app that helps with booking hotels in non-standard increments like a few hours. It has attracted more than 200,000 users and more than 1,000 hotel partners.
>>Ojimah, a West African travel tech company, has raised about $100,000 (€85,000) from an angel investor.
The company, based in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, began work in August 2020. It aims to launch by May 2021 a multi-functional platform that covers almost every aspect of a customer’s journey. Users will be able to book flights, accommodation, transfers, local experiences, and destination guides, optional airline seat choice, automatic advance check-in, foreign exchange delivered to your door, and visa applications. The service promises to favor sustainable and responsible tourism providers.
Another planned differentiating factor is that, unlike flight price comparison websites, Ojimah will integrate 81 low-cost, inter-Africa carriers, including Africa’s top about a dozen low-cost airlines, into its search results.
Co-founder and CEO Mike Tavares has been Chairman of United Consulting. He has worked with governments to design and implement sustainable tourism strategies and products.
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.
Photo credit: One of the properties run by Accor, the hotel giant, which announced this week it had hired StayMyWay to install contactless tech for issuing keys to guests at 5,000 hotels. Accor