This week, travel startups announced more than $95 million in funding. Concepts included online travel and transit booking in India, the high-tech packaging of multi-day tours, tools to help agents book travel, and a travel brand for motorcycle owners.
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 protected] if you have funding news.
This week, travel startups announced more than $95 million in funding.
GIC, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore, led the round, the Economic Times first reported. Ixigo told Skift that it had not released an official statement regarding the press reports.
Info Edge Ventures, White Oak, Bay Capital, Trifecta Capital, Malabar Investments, and Orios Venture Partners participated. Sequoia Capital has previously invested in the company.
The travel startup is looking to go public later this year, according to media reports.
>>Exoticca, a startup that offers multi-day package tours, has closed a $30 million Series C round of funding.
14W and Mangrove Capital Partners led the round. Aldea Ventures and existing investors Milano Investment Partners SGR, K Fund, Bonsai Partners, Kibo Ventures, and Sabadell Venture Capital also took part. This startup has raised $53 million to date.
Barcelona-based Exoticca builds package tours to more than 50 destinations worldwide, using experts to design the itineraries. A mix of manually-curated products with intensive use of automation to make the concierges more efficient allows Exoticca to offer cost savings.
Despite the pandemic, the company has grown its sales. Exoticca’s sales are currently 50 percent higher than before the pandemic overall and triple the volume in the U.S. in particular. The startup said it generates positive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, which is a measure of profit.
“We are very happy to partner with 14W and Mangrove because of their experience in building global category leaders in the technology space,” said Exoticca CEO Pere Vallès.
Exoticca aims to digitize the long-standing agent-driven model for creating tour packages including flights, hotels, activities, and ground transportation with the help of on-the-ground experts.
“We believe that this is the right time to build a global category leader in package tours,” said CEO Pere Vallès. The company is currently present in Spain, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the United States, Canada, and Australia, offering packages to about 50 long-haul destinations worldwide.
Exoticca plans to invest in technology and product and possibly make an acquisition. Its model is similar to other startups, to varying extents of overlap, including: Evaneos, Tourlane, Audley Travel, Voyageurs du Monde, Comptoir des Voyages, and Explora Project.
>>MisterFly, an online travel agency and travel technology company based in Paris, closed an $11.8 million (€10 million) round of financing.
Bpifrance led the round through its France Investissement Tourisme 2 fund. Past investor Montefiore, Iris Capital, and its founders also took part.
“We’re very proud that Bpifrance has joined our historical investors in this stage of our development,” said Nicolas Brumelot, president and co-founder of MisterFly.
The startup has raised about $47 million (€40 million) since its debut in 2016. It began as an online travel agency, but it now generates significant revenue as a booking platform for travel professionals.
“We have proven the effectiveness of the model we have created for travel professionals and the general public,” Brumelot said. “We want to continue to drive innovations that redefine the way travel professionals source, compare, book, and process travel for their customers.”
MisterFly also has business-to-business deals where it provides travel booking services on behalf of partners Veepee, Carrefour Voyages, Cdiscount, Paris Aéroport, and Leclerc Voyages.
The company plans to use the funding to strengthen the automation of some of its processes, according to TourMag’s reporting.
>>Motourismo, a booking service for motorcycle-based travel, has raised about $1.1 million (€1 million) in a seed round of funding.
Motorcycle clothing brand Rev’it! invested in the round, as did angel investors, the U.S. motorcycle community ADVrider, and IFB Innovationsstarter. Howzat Ennea Group also took part in the round.
The startup aims to focus more on offering tourism services to international travelers once the pandemic restrictions ease. It’s a mix of a price-comparison booking platform and an online travel agency, often referring customers sometimes to dozens of travel partners worldwide to complete transactions.
It helps consumers search, find, and buy travel experiences, varying from small day trips to long-distance travel packages lasting weeks. The company launched in German-speaking countries in 2019 and has since expanded into English-speaking markets. The company said there are several hundred million motorcyclists worldwide as a total addressable market.
|Exoticca||Series C||14W, Mangrove Capital Partners||$30,000,000|
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.
Photo credit: The City Palace in Udaipur, India. This week, travel startups announced more than $95 million in funding. Ixigo, Exoticca, MisterFly, and Mototourismo gained. Ninara / Flickr / Creative Commons