This week, travel startups announced about $138 million in funding for concepts including a community-run homesharing service, insurance for peer-to-peer rentals of recreational vehicles, and a booking service for travelers with reduced mobility.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have funding news.
This week, travel startups announced more than $138 million in funding.
>>Outdoorsy, an on-demand booking service for recreational vehicles (RVs), said on Thursday that it had raised $120 million in equity and debt financing.
The Austin-based company raised $90 million in equity in a mezzanine round led by Moore Strategic Ventures, ADAR1 Partners, Monashee Capital, SiriusPoint, and Convivialite Ventures. It has also gained access to a $30 million debt facility from Pacific Western Bank. The startup had raised about $75 million before this.
Outdoorsy is now the best-funded company out of a wave of emerging RV travel startups that includes RVShare, Indie Campers, and ShareACamper.
Many investors liked Airbnb because it found ways to expand home-sharing by coaxing people to put their excess housing capacity to work. Now some other investors are hoping that Outdoorsy will perform a similar trick for RV rentals as Airbnb did for short-term rentals.
Outdoorsy aims to expand the supply of RVs and campervans available to travelers as rentals by simplifying the process for individuals to rent their vehicles out with the help of an “insurtech” division called Roamly that it launched on Thursday. Get details on the fundraising, the insurance product, and the scale-up of glamping services in Skift’s profile of Outdoorsy.
>>Cabana, a mobile hotel startup (think: glamping on wheels), said on Tuesday it had raised $10 million.
Craft Ventures and Goldcrest Capital led the Series A round. Danish venture capital firm Nordic Eye also participated. See Skift’s profile of Cabana from earlier this week.
The Sydney-based startup said this week it had raised $5 million — please don’t ask us what that is worth in Ethereum or Dodgecoin — in a seed round.
Kenetic Capital, Future Perfect Ventures, DHVC, Plutus VC, GBV Capital, AU21 Capital, Shima Capital, LD Capital, and NGC Ventures backed the startup. Former executives from Airbnb and Expedia also took part as angel investors.
Dtravel is a digital co-operative.
“With the need to return profits to shareholders, home-sharing platforms are forced to extract as much as possible from transactions on their platforms,” said Juan Otero, co-founder and CEO of Travala, a tech company whose parent company is based in the Cayman Islands.
Travala is helping build Dtravel on blockchain, or distributed ledger, technology. The technology enables hosts of short-term and long-term stays to write smart contracts based on the distributed ledger premise, accept payments made with either cryptocurrencies and traditional payment methods, and take something of an ownership stake.
Dtravel describes itself as “a decentralized autonomous organization, or DAO for short, which refers to a community that is collectively governed by a set of predetermined parameters that can be updated by community consensus.” Dtravel’s cryptocurrency token TRVL powers the project.
>>TravelTek, a business-to-business startup offering a travel booking engine, has received a private equity investment of about $1.8 million (£1.3 million) investment from funds managed by YFM Equity Partners (YFM) and FTI.
YFM, an investment firm that today manages funds of about $400 million, first invested in the Scottish company in 2016 with about $6 million (£5.3 million).
TravelTek, based in Glasgow, Scotland, makes software that helps in selling vacation packages made up of hotels, flights, cruises, and ancillary travel services. It also makes analytics tools, back-office software such as a customer relationship management system, and a data feed for hundreds of travel suppliers. The firm will use the injection of capital to reinvent and rebuild its core product.
>>Handiscover, a booking site highlighting more than 35,000 properties as vetted accommodation for people with reduced mobility or special needs, has received $1.74 million (€1.5 million) grant mostly from an arm of the European Union called the European Innovation Council (EIC).
A year ago, the fund gave the Malmo-based startup support of $1.7 million (€1.6 million).
“The startup is aiming to help other companies in Europe adapt their operations to facilitate accessible travel through a SaaS solution, subscription-based cloud solution, with disability data and available adaptations,” reported ShortTermRentalz. Other past backers have included venture fund Howzat Partners.
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: A luxury villa that is available for rental to travelers in Pemuteran, Bali from resort and travel company Jeda Villa. Private home rentals are now sharable via the new travel platform Dtravel. Jeda Villa