Skift Take

It's good to see startups focusing on destination marketers' needs. Marketers will need all the help they can get to grab their share of the travel recovery.

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 $4 million in funding.

>>Bandwango, a startup focused on giving destination marketers the tools to entice travelers to spend more, raised $3.1 million in seed funding.

Next Frontier Capital led the round. Signal Peak Ventures, SaaS Ventures, and Ocean Azul Partners also took part. The Murray, Utah-based startup previously raised $700,000.

The startup says it helps marketers at more than 200 destinations tell visitors about things to do and experiences. It typically combines offers from restaurants, retailers, attractions into digital bundles that tourism marketers in Iowa
, Newport Beach, or elsewhere sell to visitors.

For example, the Michigan town of Grand Rapids has used Bandwango to create a “culture pass,” which provides three days of discounted access to the city’s attractions, such as its public museum and a brewery, for one price. A pass can be given as a gift, which a traveler can redeem months later on a trip.

A traveler typically provides some personal information in exchange for receiving the passes via their smartphone. Bandwango collects visitation data to refine the tourism marketing campaigns.

It claims that its mobile-first marketing campaigns resulted in 248,000 check-ins and redemptions at local venues.

>>Flown, which calls itself a “work-as-a-service business,” has raised about $1.65 million (£1.2 million) in seed funding.

The founders of OneFineStay, Transferwise, and Shutl participated in the funding in recent months.

The London-based startup offers remote work-enabled homes and hotels from which individuals and teams can work, making it easier for business travelers to find places to work in unfamiliar locales.

Today, Flown sells memberships to individuals, but it plans to offer subscriptions to enterprises, said co-founder and CEO Alicia Navarro.

>>The Capsule Hotel, a Korean travel startup, has closed a seed round of funding via crowd funding platform, Wadiz.

The company has built two capsule hotels in Seoul’s tourist districts.

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: Grand Rapids Public Museum on Pearl Street in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The tourism board of Grand Rapids used tech from startup Bandwango for a recent promotion. Grand Rapids Public Museum

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