Skift Take

Kyte wants to simplify car rentals, while yet another short-term rental platform, this time in Germany, raises millions.

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.

Three travel tech startups raised nearly $202 million this week.

>>Kyte, an app that offers on-demand car rentals, has raised $60 million in Series B growth equity financing.

Through the app, consumers can have cars delivered to them for daily, weekly, or monthly use, the company said. 

The round was led by InterAlpen Partners. The firm’s founder, Stephen George, was an early investor in Tesla and SpaceX. Other new investors include Valor Equity Partners, Anthemis, Citi Ventures, and Hearst Ventures, along with existing investors DN Capital, 1984 Ventures, FJ Labs, and Urban Innovation Fund. 

Kyte has now raised about $300 million in equity and debt.

Goldman Sachs and Ares contributed an asset-backed debt investment of $200M earlier this year. 

That and the latest fundraise will go toward helping the company triple its current fleet and expand in new and existing markets globally. The company currently has access a few thousand car in 14 cities, said Ludwig Schoenack, co-founder of Kyte.

The company plans to strengthen its product and add new vehicle classes, with the long-term goal of offering teleoperated and fully autonomous trips. 

“Our vision is to become the largest operator of electrified shared autonomous fleets, and we’re building that infrastructure today,” Schoenack said.

The company was founded in 2019 and is headquartered in San Francisco. 

>>Online travel agency Hopper has secured $96 million as a follow-on investment from Capital One, which had led Hopper’s $170 million Series F round of funding in March 2021. 

Hopper has now raised around $730 million in total funding.

Along with that 2021 fundraise, Hopper began powering Capital One Travel, the booking platform used by Capital One’s cardholders. The latest raise includes an extension of the Capital One Travel program. 

“Since launch, Capital One Travel is driving travel bookings at record levels, outpacing both industry growth and pre-pandemic volumes and repeat usage of Capital One Travel continues to grow,” Hopper said in a statement. 

The funds will go toward accelerating the company’s growth in several areas, including several new social features.

Hopper also offers an array of fintech products, such as price freezes on flights and hotels, for an array of other partners. The fintech offerings represent about 40 percent of the company’s total app revenue, Hopper said.  

Hopper claims to be the third largest online travel agency in North America, and to command 11.2 percent of third party flight bookings in the U.S., citing Marketing Information Data Tapes figures.

>>Limehome, a short-term rental app based in Munich, has closed a new growth capital round of $45.8 million (€45 million).  

New investors include AW Rostamani Group and Capital Four, along with existing investors HV Capital, Picus Capital, and Lakestar. 

Limehome operates more than 3,000 apartments in seven countries. The startup’s software automates all operations, including pricing, booking, check-in, cleaning, customer service, and invoicing, the company said. 

Occupancy rates have been around 90 percent for the past year. The company said it tripled turnover each year of the pandemic. 

“The last few years have shown that our fully equipped design serviced apartments with a digital customer journey and consistent quality are very popular in both the leisure and business segments,” said Josef Vollmayr, co-founder and managing director of Limehome, in a statement. 

The capital will go primarily toward expansion, including through acquisitions of existing operators, as well as strengthening the software product. 

CompanyStage LeadRaise
KyteSeries BInterAlpen Partners$60 million
HopperSeries F follow-onCapital One$96 million
LimehomeGrowth capital Unspecified$45.8 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: capital one travel, car rental, funding, goldman sachs, hopper, kyte, online travel agencies, short-term rentals, tesla, vcroundup

Photo credit: Kyte has access to thousands of cars that users in 14 cities can order on demand through an app. Kyte

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