This week, several startups of interest to the travel sector announced more than $170 million in funding.
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 $170 million in funding.
>>Hotel Engine, a corporate travel startup that focuses on hotel booking management, has raised $65 million in a funding round.
Telescope Partners led the round in the Denver-based company.
The company offers customized hotel reservation and management tools that promise control, transparency, billing, and support needs corporations along with discounted rates at up to 700,000 properties.
CEO Elia Wallen founded the startup in 2015. The business is now valued at more than $1.3 billion.
>>Life House, a New York-based hotel company and software provider, has closed a $60 million financing round.
Kayak, the price-comparison brand owned by Booking Holdings, co-led the Series C financing round with iNovia. Tiger Global, Thayer Ventures, JLL, Trinity Ventures, and Sound Ventures also participated. The New York-based startup has raised about $100 million to date.
Learn more by reading Skift’s coverage of Kayak’s investment in Life House.
>>Big Tiny, a company that merges the tiny home trend with eco-tourism, has raised $3 million ($4.2 million Australian) in seed funding.
Angel investors participating included Koh Boon Hwee, Phillip Private Equity, GPPC Capital Limited, and Ascend Angels.
The company pre-fabricates modular homes, assembles the tiny houses, and then works with host landowners to run them as tourist offerings. It plans to open about 300 tiny homes in Australia and New Zealand next year.
>>YouTrip, an online bank specializing in multi-currency services, raised a $30 million Series A.
The Singaporean startup offers a multi-currency travel wallet that links with pre-paid cards often run through bank network MasterCard. The digital wallet allows users to pay for goods overseas in more than 150 currencies with no hidden fees and, it claims, at wholesale exchange rates. YouTrip recently introduced a corporate card.
>>Elenium Automation, a creator of self-service technology, has raised $7 million ($10 million Australian) in growth capital.
Many airports use Elenium’s kiosks for helping to screen and process passengers. The new funding will help the startup apply the same tech to other verticals, such as healthcare and government infrastructure.
>>Lodgea, a Munich-based travel tech company, closed an unspecified amount of seed investment. The Müller Medien media group and DTM Deutsche Tele Medien took undisclosed stakes in the startup.
The startup’s software enables marketers to set up direct booking and marketing engines for hotels and vacation rentals via a subscription model. Both new investors said they would help promote Lodgea’s services to small and medium-sized companies in their networks.
>>Airxelerate, a Berlin-based travel tech startup, received an undisclosed amount of investment from Schauinsland-Reisen, a German tour operator.
The startup offers a cloud-based distribution platform for airlines that promises to enable a direct connection to tourism partners and business-to-business customers. The tour operator uses the startup’s tools.
>>Riparide, a travel lodging booking brand, raised about $2.8 million ($4 million Australian) in seed funding. Macdoch Ventures and Upswell Ventures led the round.
The Melbourne-based startup helps people find vacation lodgings, such as caravans, yurts, and vacation homes.
>>Waug, a Seoul-based startup that provides an app-based travel activity reservation service, has closed an approximately $9 million funding round as a bridge from its Series C, Platum reported. The company has raised more than $25 million to date.
|Hotel Engine||n/a||Telescope Partners||$65,000,000|
|Live House||Series C||Kayak, iNovia||$60,000,000|
|Lodgea||Seed||Müller Medien, DTM Deutsche Tele Medien||n/a|
|Riparide||Seed||Macdoch Ventures, Upswell Ventures||$2,800,000|
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: A one-bedroom available to travelers from Sonder, a hospitality startup that offers lodging via Hotel Engine, a startup that has received funding. Source: Sonder.