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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 $710 million in funding.
>>Kamil+, a hotel group in China whose brands offer “an immersive aestethic experience,” has closed a $20 million (130 million renminbi) seed round of funding in a mix of equity and debt investment from High Star Holding Group and banks.
This mid-to-high-end hotel group, headquartered in Wuhan, aims to impress guests by attending to all five senses. It targets Generation Z urbanites.
Gaoxing Hotel Group is a supporter, using the company as a way to learn how to integrate the digital gene into hotel operations and adopt more modern loyalty, digital marketing, and supply chain systems.
Kamil+ has sub-brands such as Kamilheim Hotel, Anita+Kamil, KamilHeim, and LivKamil. Kamilheim Hotel advocates the “slow travel” movement, for example.
>>Bbot, a hospitality tech startup that works to help restaurants, bars, and other hospitality businesses simplify their digital operations with in-venue and online ordering and payment processing, raised $15 million in Series A funding.
CRV led the round. One Bbot function enables hotel guests to order room service from their smartphones rather than the room’s smart TV or phone. The company placed number-one on Hotel Tech Report’s Global Best Mobile Ordering and Room Service Software list.
>>Miles, a rewards app for many types of spending but especially for transportation with a low carbon impact, has closed a $12.5 million round.
Scrum Ventures led the round. TransLink Capital and Japan Airlines (through its JAL Innovation Fund), TechNexus Venture Collaborative, Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance (MS&AD), Synapse Partners, and angel investors also participated.
Based in Redwood City, California, the startup has raised $20 million since its launch in 2018.
“Businesses and brands can deliver value to customers by offering to meet their ‘near future’ needs as they travel, such as when someone needs a meal, a ride, or is likely to go shopping or purchase entertainment,” the company said.
>>Raus, which creates city breaks with smart, sustainable cabins, has closed a seed funding round of an undisclosed amount above $1 million.
Speedinvest led the round, with angel investors also participating.
The Berlin-based startup plans to open its first hospitality spaces later this year, and it will start accepting bookings within a few weeks, said Julian Trautwein, co-founder of Raus. A keyless entry system will let guests check in and check out by themselves. The Verge first reported on the funding.
>>Framey, a visual-based travel inspiration app, has closed a $1 million seed funding round.
ICE Capital from Dubai led the round. JECO Capital also participated.
The mobile app, founded in 2019 by Romanian entrepreneurs Robert Preoteasa and Alexandru Iulian Florea, is set to launch in the next couple of months. It aims to help users make travel plans and find interesting spots to visit in an Instagram-like service.
More on startups: “The UK-based fintech app Revolut, which claims 16 million users, branched out beyond financial services for the first time, and began selling hotels, homes, and guest houses,” Skift reported this week.
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.