Actor Kevin Costner's travel startup, HearHere, is looking to seize on the rise in road trips. In other news, we've rarely seen a travel startup raise so much capital within a year of launching as Selfbook has for its hotel payments software.
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 Tim Mullaney at [email protected] if you have funding news.
This week, travel startups announced more than $46 million in funding.
>>HearHere, a travel narrative startup co-founded by actor Kevin Costner, has raised $3.2 million in seed funding.
Camping World, a retailer, led the round. The round includes a strategic investment from AAA (American Automobile Association) and other investors. The startup previously raised $1.6 million.
The Santa Barbara startup uses a phone’s location detectors to see where a traveler is on a U.S. road trip and then deliver relevant brief stories about local points of interest or historical moments.
The subscription-based service has more than 100,000 registered users and offers more than 8,880 stories. Free accounts include five stories, but subscribers, who pay $36 a year, enjoy full content. For a review of HearHere, see The Washington Post’s road test.
>>Selfbook, which makes hotel payment software, closed a $15 million extension of its Series A financing — adding to the $25 million the New York City-based company raised in October 2021 and $3 million in seed funding raised previously.
Tiger Global led the round. Jaws, the family office of Barry Sternlicht, is a strategic partner. Lachy Groom, Valia Ventures, and Fin Venture Capital also participated.
TenOneTen Ventures, Abstract Ventures, and Better Tomorrow Ventures participated.
Nearly 100 hotels have added Selfbook’s code to their websites, helping to reduce the chances that customers abandon their bookings before paying. Rather than redirect customers to old-school, form-heavy booking templates, the software offers one-click payments and lets customers book packages or add upsells.
The New York startup launched a year ago and now has 70 employees.
“We wanted to double down on Selfbook after hearing the excitement from their hotel customers and seeing the continued rapid growth over the past several months,” said Alex Cook, partner, Tiger Global.
>>Dónde, a company benefit to help employees manage their vacation time, has closed a seed round of $3.3 million.
Kickstart Fund led the round. Next Frontier Capital joined the seed funding.
The startup, based in Salt Lake City, previously raised $1.5 million.
Companies use Dónde’s cloud-based application to fund travel savings accounts for employees. An online store makes it easy for workers to book trips. The retention tool aims to encourage employees to take all of their paid time off, said CEO Rilee Buttars.
|Selfbook||Series A||Tiger Global||$40m|
Skift Cheat Sheet
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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Photo credit: Capri Tiberio Palace in Italy is a hotel customer of Selfbook's hotel payment software. Selfbook is a startup that has just received fresh funding. Source: Capri Tiberio Palace. Ron Cogswell / Flickr