Skift Take

It’s always notable when either Insight Partners or Y-Combinator is backing something. Canary Technologies reported investment by not one, but both. Oh, and it’s got backing from Fidelity-affiliated F-Prime Capital, too.

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 Travel Tech Reporter Justin Dawes at [email protected] if you have funding news.

Travel startups announced nearly $188 million in funding this week. 

>> Canary Technologies has raised $30 million in Series B funding, led by Insight Partners with continued participation from F-Prime Capital, Y-Combinator, Thayer Ventures, Commerce Ventures and others.

The company has raised a total of $45 million to date.

The Canary platform is meant to help hotels modernize guest management, with digital features that enable contactless check-in and check-out, guest messaging, upsells, tipping, digital authorizations and digital contracts.

The platform is used by thousands of hotels in more than 75 countries. Clients have included Four Seasons, Best Western, Rosewood Hotels and Radisson hotels, the company said.

This latest funding will go toward hiring, strengthening the platform and expanding business globally.

“Canary’s mission is to help hotel operators modernize their tech stacks to deliver the best guest experience possible and remain competitive in the evolving lodging landscape,” said Harman Singh Narula, Canary co-founder, in a statement. “Guests want to engage with digital solutions, like Contactless Check-In and Digital Tipping, and hoteliers are increasingly adopting Canary’s platform to meet this demand and streamline operations.

>> ConnexPay has raised $110 million in growth equity investment, led by FTV Capital with contributions from previous investors.

ConnexPay can accept payments from consumers and pass that money to its clients through a single platform, which it said requires clients to negotiate only one contract and work with a single team. The single platform also gives clients access to that money as soon as a customer pays.

ConnexPay was founded in 2017 with a focus on the travel industry but has expanded to serve other verticals. ConnexPay has more than doubled its number of active clients and employees over the 12 months, the company said, adding that it is profitable.

The Atlanta-based company plans to expand internationally in Europe and beyond as it continues to enhance its platform.

The company has now raised a total of $145 million.

>> WeTravel, a booking and payments tech platform for multi-day travel operators, has raised $27 million in Series B funding. It was led by Left Lane Capital, with participation from existing investors Base10 Partners and Swift Ventures, as well several angel investors.

The latest investment brings the California-based company’s total capital raised to $34 million. It was founded in 2016.

In 2022, WeTravel expects to complete roughly half of a million transactions through its platform for more than 3,000 travel companies and tour organizers.

Going forward, the company plans to grow its team as it strengths its existing tech and adds more features. New features for business owners include better control of cash flow and the ability to pay suppliers and stakeholders.

“To extend our platform’s capabilities for users, we’ll be investing in multi-day travel businesses to engage, transact and retain their stakeholders and increase revenue,” said Johannes Koeppel, co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “What this platform extension means is opportunity for travel businesses to have access to the necessary booking and payment options that will help grow their travel business.”

>> The startup Bob W. has secured $20.9 million (21 million Euros) in Series A funding, led by IDC Ventures, Elevator Ventures, Verve Ventures and Flashpoint.

Based in Finland and Estonia, Bob W. is a short-term rental booking platform that says it offers higher quality experiences in individual rentals.

The rentals are in handpicked neighborhoods and contain furniture and design by local artists, the company said. Bookings can include features like breakfasts, gym access and local experiences.

Revenue has grown 800 percent year-over-year, and there is an average guest rating of 4.8 out of 5, the company said. It was founded just before the pandemic.

The company plans to expand geographically and strengthen its tech platform. The expansion plan includes the addition of more than 20 cities in Europe, the company said.

“Our goal is to use the funds to create a new industry benchmark for digital experience, and to support our explosive growth in new European markets beyond the UK, Spain, Finland and Estonia, where we currently operate,” said Niko Karstikko, co-founder and CEO, in a statement.

CompanyStage LeadRaise
WeTravelSeries BLeft Lane Capital$27 million
ConnexPayGrowth Equity InvestmentFTV Capital$110 million
Canary TechnologiesSeries BInsight Partners$30 million
Bob W.Series AIDC Ventures$20.9 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: canary technologies, funding, startups, vcroundup

Photo credit: Radisson Hotels (pictured) is a client of Canary Technologies. Hanna Sörensson / Radisson

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