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This week, travel startup Yanolja said it had raised $1.7 billion in funding. A few smaller businesses also raised funding, including Bookaway, which aims to link up ground and sea transportation booking systems.

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 $1.7 billion in funding.

>>Yanolja, a travel startup based in South Korea, has received a $1.7 billion investment from SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund 2. See Skift’s story.

>>Bookaway, which is linking up ground and sea transportation booking platforms, has secured a $35 million round of Series B funding.

The Tel Aviv-based startup, founded four years ago, previously raised $11 million in funding. Israeli investor Aleph has been a key backer since 2019.

The startup has founded the Bookaway Group, which aims to “bridge the gap between travelers and local transport suppliers.” The group plans to help travelers find and book transport options worldwide.

Bookaway Group has signed up Getbybus and 12Go, which together provide thousands of transit routes in the Balkans, Western Europe, and Southeast Asia.

“Currently, 95 percent of the ground transportation industry is offline,” said Noam Toister, CEO and founder of Bookaway. “Our mission is to make bus, train, or ferry travel an effortless booking experience.”

>>EventMosh, a Chinese digital marketing operator that targets cultural tourism in China, has secured an unspecified round of “pre-Series B” financing worth more than $1.5 million.

Founded in 2013, the startup provides cloud-based software services to support the marketing of cultural tourism brands and destinations via channels such as Douyin and WeChat. China Travel News first reported the funding.

>>Bimble, a mobile app for discovering, saving, and sharing destinations, attractions, and other “great little places,” has raised a $2.48 million seed round of funding.

Dimitris Panagopoulos, one of the first backers of Net-a-Porter, led the investment round. Other angel investors participating included Vikram Kumar of Kuvari Partners and Betfair co-founder Mark Davies.

“Our mission at Bimble is to make it easier for people to get out there and enjoy the restaurants, bars, bakeries, boutiques, yoga studios, etc., that give local communities their unique personalities,” said Francesca Howland, co-founder and CEO of Bimble.

The company, based in Oxford, England, launched during the pandemic and said it has more than 75,000 users in the U.S. and Britain.

Many startups have attempted to develop “social travel apps,” but the category has struggled. Bimble differs from most past attempts in that it has mimicked Spotify’s format for music. The app provides “playlists of places” that let people create and share collections of visit-worthy places based on mood, genre, or thematic interest.

>>Stayflexi, a provider of software services for vacation rental property managers and hotel managers, has received $1.6 million in investment from investors including Y Combinator, Agya Ventures, BlueField Capital, Asymmetry Ventures, and Good New Ventures.

The company, founded in 2018, provides tools for sales, marketing, and operational functions such as contactless check-in, upselling, and payments. Co-founder and CEO Venkatesh Sakamuri leads the startup.

>>Pleo, a Danish fintech startup, raised $150 million last week in a round co-led by Bain Capital Ventures and Thrive Capital. While it’s not a travel startup, Skift covered this week Pleo’s relevance to the travel sector.

Yanoljan/aSoftBank Vision Fund 2$1,700,000,000
BookawaySeries Bn/a$35,000,000
EventMoshSeries Bn/a$1,500,000
BimbleSeedDimitris Panagopoulos$2,480,000
PleoSeries CBain Capital Ventures, Thrive Capital$150,000,000

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: The Seatran Discovery is a ferry that serves routes in Thailand including between Koh Samui Island and Surat Thani Airport. Seats are bookable via the 12go service, which is now part of Bookaway Group. 12go

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