Skift Take

This week, Indian online food ordering and delivery platform Swiggy is backing Rapido to help its expand its fleet, while VC firm Andreessen Horowitz has launched a program called a16z START to fund, and nurture, the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Series: Startups This Week

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 $234 million in funding.

>>Rapido, a bike taxi service that operates in 100 cities across India, has raised $180 million in a Series D round.

Swiggy, an Indian online food ordering and delivery platform, led the round with TVS Motor Company. Existing investors Westbridge, Shell Ventures and Nexus Ventures also participated.

The platform has transacted more than 300 million orders, and currently processes 20 million orders every month, with the help of 450,000 monthly active drivers.

“We want to build a platform that is reliable and has both customers and captains (our drivers) satisfied on the same platform,” said co-founder Aravind Sanka in a LinkedIn post. “We want to provide the same experience to 100 million+ customers with various modes of transport.”

>>SafetyWing, which offers medical coverage policies to travelers, has raised $35 million in Series B funding. 

Kinnevik led the round. The company began offering medical coverage, but since the pandemic began has started to focus on becoming a “global social safety net” for remote workers traveling the world. This latest round of funding will be used to deploy Remote Health to more companies, expand its Nomad Insurance product, and develop its Remote Doctor and Remote Retirement platforms.

>>Wheelhouse, a revenue management platform, has spun out of parent company Lyric and raised $16 million. NEA and Highgate Ventures led the round, with additional participation from Signalfire, Fifth Wall, Tishman Speyer, 01 Advisors, Certares, RXR, and PAR Capital, plus other CEOs and industry leaders from the short-term rental, real estate and property technology sectors.

Wheelhouse aims to expand from 42 countries to worldwide availability. 

>>Campspace, a sustainable outdoor accommodation booking platform, has raised €3 million ($3.28 million) in seed funding. VNV Global (backers of BlaBlaCar, Voi and Hungry Panda) led the round, alongside angel investors.

It also bought German competitor Pop-Up Camps, which offers 2,000 unique places to stay in 30 countries. 

>>a16z (Andreessen Horowitz), a venture capital firm, has launched a program called a16z START, which provides up to $1 million in funding to founders at the earliest stages of building their company. Since launching a beta program in fall 2021, it has received 1,000 applications and accepted 11 entrepreneurs. The program also offers one-on-one support and network introductions, and is backed by the a16z seed fund in collaboration with partners investing across its American Dynamism, Consumer, Enterprise, and Fintech divisions.

CompanyStageLeadRaise
RapidoSeries DSwiggy$180 million
SafetyWingSeries BKinnevik$35 million
WheelhouseGrowthNEA/Highgate Ventures$16 million
CampspaceSeedVNV Global$3.28 million

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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Tags: bikes, funding, india, vcroundup, venture capital

Photo credit: Rapido handles 20 million bike taxi orders in India every month. Arihant Daga / Unsplash