Travel startups Angel Host, Thatch, Wanderlog, YouTravel, Margin Fuel, Zo World, and others have raised capital this week. Continued innovation is a bright spot as the travel sector heads into the last quarter of the year.
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 $12 million in funding.
>>Angel Host, a revenue management software provider for property managers that run short-term and vacation rentals, has raised a seed funding round of $5.2 million.
White Star Capital led the round. Desjardins Capital, Panache Ventures, and other investors also took part.
The Montreal-based company, co-founded in 2019 by CEO Eduardo Mandri and Veronique Lalonde, helps 350 property management companies in seven countries create online listings, set rates, and handle customer service.
“Their 24/7 multilingual guest services team has taken a load off our shoulders and their dynamic pricing strategies and implementation has helped produce very strong results for our clients,” said Carlson Lisboa, CEO of Tropical Villas in Orlando.
>>Thatch, a U.S.-based mobile app that helps influencers organize their travel knowledge into shareable, interactive, and monetizable travel content, said it had raised $3 million in additional seed funding.
Wave Capital led the round. Other investors included Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph.
The startup, which has raised a total of $5.2 million, plans to launch its tools to take tips or payments from consumers for the interactive guides that the creators produce in the app. The founders told TechCrunch that more than 12 million people have used their app.
For more context, read Skift’s story from earlier this week: Social Media Influencers Sync With Startup Tools to Sell Travel.
>>Wanderlog, a trip-planner startup based in the San Francisco Bay area, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding.
General Catalyst and Abstract Ventures led the round. General Catalyst was an early investor in Airbnb and ITA Software.
The startup, founded by brothers Harry Yu and Peter Xu, graduated from the Y Combinator startup accelerator in 2019. It has built an app that lets people organize and map their itineraries for primarily leisure trips.
>>YouTravel, a trip planner app for group travel and making social connections, has raised $1 million.
Starta VC led the round.
The app lets travelers match with other travelers who have similar upcoming trips or travel interests by either chat or voice. Travelers can also use the app to access travel agents and trip hackers for planning help.
Founded three years ago, the company told TechCrunch that more than 10,000 travelers and 4,200 travel experts have created accounts on the platform.
>>MarginFuel, a New Zealand-based provider of digital tools for car rental companies, recently closed a convertible note funding but didn’t disclose the amount.
The startup provides tools for setting rates, forecasting demand, and tracking what rival companies are doing in the market. It has clients worldwide already, but this funding will let it expand further in Europe.
“Some customers in Europe and elsewhere are using our platform to update over a million optimized prices daily,” said CEO Andrew Pascoe, who founded the company about five years ago. “Getting the prices right at scale is a massive pain point for operators.”
>>Fly Free Airways, an Italian company that is creating a charter flight network for business travelers and luxury travelers, is attempting to crowd-source funding of about $11 million (€10 million) in capital by issuing shares via stablecoin cryptocurrency.
The company has acquired the Rome-based airline Romavia, too. Fly Free Airways, run by Francesco D’Alessandro, is an aeronautical broker specializing in business travel management, the organization and management of charter flights worldwide, and the leasing of private aircraft.
Zo World is building a decentralized travel marketplace, is licensing the Zostel name to India’s largest chain of backpacker lodging, Zostel Hospitality, in 51 locations, and it plans to go public in India possibly in October.
|Angel Host||Seed||White Star Capital||$5,200,000|
|Wanderlog||Seed||General Catalyst, Abstract Ventures||$1,500,000|
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 Solara Resort is a vacation rental available in Florida. Tropical Villas Property Management