The short-term rental sector continues to spawn startups worldwide, including Handys in South Korea. Plus, this week's other funding news includes startups offering insurance for pre-paid hotel rates and estimates of carbon emissions for business 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@example.com if you have funding news.
This week, travel startups announced more than $2 million in funding.
>>Handys, which runs branded short-term and long-term accommodation rentals in South Korea, has raised $1.8 million (2 billion won).
DSC Investment led the round. Spring Camp and Plant Lee Partners previously made a seed investment of about $270,000 (300 million won) in the startup.
Handys runs the lifestyle accommodation brand Urban Stay, which runs about 700 rooms in Seoul, Busan, and Gyeonggi-do. It also has co-working partners. The company started in 2019 in Jeju as an outsourced cleaning service for hosts of Airbnb rentals.
>>BeSafe Rate, a digital service dedicated to hoteliers that enables a prepaid rate with travel insurance included, has raised about $600,000 (€485,000)
CDP Venture Capital took part in the investment through the Accelerators Fund, along with other business angels.
The startup participated in LVenture Group’s accelerator Luiss EnLabs.
BeSafe Rate integrates with all the booking software of the accommodation facilities enabling a prepaid hotel rate with travel insurance included in favor of the traveler that safeguards the revenues of hoteliers while protecting their guests. In the event of an unexpected event that compromises the stay, including the inability to travel, BeSafe Rate will provide reimbursement.
More than 550 properties are using BeSafe Rate, including VOIhotels of Alpitour Group, JSH Hotels & Resorts, Club Esse Hotels & Resorts, and Felix Hotels. It’s helped manage 11,000 reservations since its founding.
>>Patch, a “carbon offset API developer,” has raised $4.5 million in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz.
Patch co-founders Brennan Spellacy and Aaron Grunfeld previously worked at short-term rental and hotel startup Sonder. Patch isn’t a travel startup but the travel sector and businesses looking to offset the climate impacts of business travel are potential customers.
Patch plans to sell customers a way to add up how many carbon dioxide emissions their activities, such as business travel, create, and helps companies finance projects that capture a similar amount of emissions. Companies can choose from projects they feel are genuine contributions to the environment.
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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Photo Credit: A short-term rental available via Airbnb and cleaned and managed by Handys, a startup in South Korea. Handys