The startups this week cover a wide range of industries: rideshare, hospitality buying, audio entertainment, hotel restaurant reservations, business travel planning, and travel insurtech.
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.
Seven travel tech startups raised more than $102 million this week.
>>Cabify, a rideshare platform, has raised $66.4 million in capital from Orilla Asset Management, AXIS, and others. The amount reported includes an investment by Mutua Madrileña in July 2022.
The company also received a loan of €40 million ($43.6 million) from the European Investment Bank in May 2022.
Madrid-based Cabify users can book a ride in a branded or other taxi through the company’s mobile app. Cabify also partners with other companies to provide a taxi service for corporate transport, events, and shipping and logistics. Users with access to a corporate account and book on ride on the Cabify mobile app.
Founded in 2011, the company has more than 1,000 employees in Spain and Latin America. The company currently operates in more than 40 cities in seven countries and has more than 42 million registered users and 1.2 million drivers.
Cabify plans to expand to more than 25 cities in Latin America and Spain.
The company has set a goal that all the vehicles available through its platform will be zero-emission in Spain by 2025 and in Latin America by 2030.
“The project is experiencing a stage of maturity and sustainable growth that is unique in its sector. Our goal is to accelerate our strategic plan, and, in the coming years, we expect Cabify to significantly increase in revenue volume and profitability,” said Juan de Antonio, CEO of Cabify, in a statement.
>>Reeco, a platform that connects hospitality buyers and suppliers, has raised $10 million in seed funding and released its product to the public. It was led by Net Capital Ventures and Joule Ventures, with participation from Eynat Guez, CEO of Papaya Global, as well as other angel investors.
The Reeco marketplace displays thousands of products from hundreds of suppliers. When a buyer makes a purchase, the platform uses AI to automatically match the order with the optimal supplier based on price, availability, and delivery dates. That could mean splitting the order between up to four suppliers to ensure full availability and secure the lowest prices, while the buyer receives only one bill.
So far, this has resulted in an average savings of 19 percent per order and an 80 percent cut in time to place and receive orders, according to the startup.
As the industry continues to recover from financial and supply chain issues during the pandemic, hotels are still facing challenges with procurement due to inflation and ongoing shortages, the startup said.
“Unlike the guest experience, virtually no new technology exists for the back office,” said Omri Shalev, chief technology officer and co-founder of Reeco, in a statement. “One of the most important and complicated jobs in hospitality is still being done manually. We didn’t want to just create a seamless ordering and receiving experience — Reeco helps mitigate supply chain issues and food waste by using AI-driven insights into purchasing habits.”
Customers of the Tel Aviv-based company include Playa Largo Resort – Autograph Collection, Hilton Aventura, The Even Hotel, Shaner Hotel Group, and various Marriott and Ramada hotels.
>>Troop has raised $11 million in Series B funding. It was led by Durable Capital Partners LP and Madrona Venture Group, with participation from All Iron Ventures and Conexo Ventures.
The Spain-based startup platform is meant to help companies plan, book, expense, and manage logistics for in-person meetings. The startup said its platform can help optimize meeting planning based on travel time, location, flights, lodging, cost, carbon reductions, and more.
The funding will go toward improving the tech and adding sales and customer service employees. The startup plans to continue expansion across Europe and the U.S.
>>Autio, a location-based audio entertainment app for travelers, has raised $5.9 million and made a partnership with iHeartMedia.
California-based Autio offers more than 10,000 stories based on geographic location, which many users access while traveling in person or virtually, the startup said.
The clips, which last from two to four minutes, include information about a relevant location and its history. All are professionally narrated by performers including co-founder Kevin Costner, John Lithgow, and Phil Jackson.
Autio recently partnered with JetBlue to offer in-flight audio entertainment.
The funding will go toward expanding into more of the U.S., hiring, and improving the product.
The co-founder of Autio, Woody Sears, appeared on Shark Tank earlier this month and turned down an investment offer. After the episode aired, app downloads increased by 464 percent, the startup said.
>>EazyDiner, a restaurant reservation and payments platform, has raised $4.9 million (400 million Indian rupees) from DMI Finance’s Sparkle Fund.
The India-based startup’s platform allows consumers to discover bar and restaurant partners, which include hotel brands like ITC Hotels, JW Marriott, St. Regis, Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, Hilton Hotels, Radisson Hotels, Trident Hotels, InterContinental Hotels.
The businesses that partner with EazyDiner can run their reservations systems through the platform and use it to accept payments from guests.
EazyDiner said it operates in more than 30 cities, with a goal to reach 100 cities by the end of the year. The platform has more than 12,000 restaurants in India and Dubai.
>>Allfly has raised $2.4 million in funding, led by Lightbank with participation from Corazon Capital.
The Orlando-based start aim to streamline group and event travel planning and booking with a platform for tour operators, meeting planners, and businesses
The funds will go toward expanding the startup’s products in the corporate meetings and events space.
>>Koala, a travel insurtech startup based in Paris, has raised $2.2 million (€2 million) led by Insurtech Gateway, with participation from Uneti Ventures, Slimmer AI and Sterling Oak.
Koala partners with travel agencies and operators to offer products to travelers. The startup has two products so far, including cancellation for any reason as well as protection for trip disruption by delays, cancellations, or missed connections.
The funding will go toward adding more products and growing the tech and sales teams.
|Cabify||Unspecified||Orilla Asset Management and AXIS||$66.4 million|
|Reeco||Seed Funding||Net Capital Ventures and Joule Ventures||$10 million|
|Troop||Series B||Durable Capital Partners and Madrona Venture Group||$11 million|
|EazyDiner||Unspecified||Sparkle Fund||$4.9 million|
|Koala||Unspecified||Insurtech Gateway||$2.2 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: business travel, funding, hospitality, reservation systems, ridesharing, startups, supply chains, travel agents, travel insurance, travel technology, vcroundup, venture capital
Photo credit: Cabify plans to expand further into Spain and Latin America. Cabify / Cabify