Skift Take

Unyoked wants companies to offers its off-grid cabin rentals as an employee benefit, and AeroCloud wants to help small airports modernize operations.

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.

Two travel tech startups raised $31.6 million this week. 

>>Unyoked, a website for vacation rentals of modern off-grid cabins, has raised $19 million (€18 million) to expand its footprint in the U.K. and Europe. Lead investors were Surplus Equity Partners and Realside Financial Group.

Founded in 2016, the Sydney-based company currently operates about 100 cabins in Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K. The startup has hosted around 35,000 overnight stays.

The startup is prioritizing expansion in the U.K., Scandinavia, Germany, Benelux, Austria, and Switzerland.

Unyoked is focused on building eco-friendly cabins unconnected to modern systems. Cabins measure around 9.8 feet by 29.5 feet (3 meters by 9 meters) and include a compact kitchen and bathroom. The cabins use only solar power, are heated with a wood fire, and have their own rainwater tank and composting toilets. 

The booking software is developed in house. Housekeeping processes and quality controls are also digitally tracked.

The company said each location is carefully chosen in a remote location within two hours from a major city. 

“We believe in a world where people see and use nature like they do the gym. Spending time outdoors is an important balance to our lives in an increasingly noisy and hectic environment. Many of us still don’t understand just how powerful it can be,” said Chris Grant, co-founder of Unyoked, in a statement. 

Sebastian Lüdke, CEO of Surplus Equity Partners, believes there is a big opportunity for partnerships with companies that want to offer the Unyoked services as an employee benefit. 

 “The company is very successfully addressing a trend that is becoming increasingly popular, especially among 25-45-year-olds with a heavy workload: spending time in nature has a positive effect on the psyche, the body, and creativity,” Lüdke said.

>>AeroCloud, an airport management software startup, has raised $12.6 million in Series A funding. It was led by Stage 2 Capital, with participation from I2BF Global Ventures, Triple Point Ventures, Praetura Ventures, Starburst Ventures, Playfair Capital, and Haatch. The Praetura investment included support from an angel program by British Business Investments.

The England-based company said its software can centralize siloed data from across the airport and handle multiple types of operations all on one platform, enabling faster passenger processing times, improved self-service check-in and bag drop, and better communications between multiple airport stakeholders.

Powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, the startup said its platform can quickly highlight inefficiencies and improve operations such as flight management, passenger predictions, and gate management. 

Better efficiency can lead to decreased operations costs and could allow an airport to add more flights to its schedule. 

AeroCloud is focused on small- to medium-sized airports, which often depend on old software or even Excel spreadsheets.

AeroCloud has gained 42 customers in less than three years, including the Manchester Airport, Eindhoven Airport, Tampa International Airport, and the John Wayne Airport. Collectively, the software processes more than 150 million passengers annually.

The company plans to expand in North America and Europe in its target to reach more than 100 customers this year. The company plans to double its team of 40 by the end of the year and also focus on adding new product features. 

>>Lokal has raised an undisclosed amount of pre-seed funding that it said values the company at $10 million. The lead investor was WahedX. The Pakistan-based startup platform is meant to help travelers book stays in reliable budget hotel rooms, as well as help property owners manage operations.

CompanyStage LeadRaise
UnyokedUnspecifiedSurplus Equity Partners and Realside Financial Group$19 million
AeroCloudSeries AStage 2 Capital$12.6 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: airport technology, airports, hotel technology, short-term rentals, software, startups, travel technology, vcroundup

Photo credit: All of the Unyoked cabins are within two hours from a major city. Unyoked / Unyoked

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