Skift Take

Short-term rentals are continuing to gain ground everywhere, as can be seen with raises this week for platforms in three different parts of the world.

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.

Four travel tech startups raised $29 million this week. 

>>Thynk, which offers software products for hotel operations, has raised $13 million in series A funding. It was led by Singular, with participation from a New York-based fund managed by Itai Tsiddon, as well as Belgian investment firm CNP and returning investors, including Fly Ventures. 

The Brussels-based company’s suite of software products are meant to simplify and automate sales, operations, and data management. The startup said its products can help streamline group sales and customer relationship management, automate office tasks, cross-sell and upsell, track and analyze customer data, and more. 

The company has more than 2,500 hotel customers, including Postillion in the Netherlands, Rotana in UAE, Groupe Lucien Barrière in France, Design Hotels in Germany, and Mint House in the U.S.

“Everything we invest in serves our ultimate mission of enabling hoteliers to do more with less, to adapt faster to market changes, and to focus on what leads to higher profit margins,” said Pascal Petit, CEO of Thynk, in a statement. 

He said the funding will go toward strengthening the software products and continuing to expand internationally. 

>>Whimstay, a platform for last-minute vacations rentals, has raised $10 million in equity financing from undisclosed investors. 

The San Francisco-based startup aims to help short-term rental hosts in North America book nights at discounted rates that would have otherwise gone unrented. Vacation rentals are vacant roughly half of the time each year, the startup said. 

“We complement a property manager’s overall distribution strategy by providing specific capabilities and conducting specific types of missions, all focused on booking last-minute stays,” said CEO David Weiss in a statement. 

Bookings on Whimstay are up seven times year to date versus the same period last year, the startup said, and March has been the best month for bookings yet. The startup recently integrated into Google Vacation Rentals. 

The funding will go toward key new hires and the development of new products and features. Some of those focuses include search experience, guest engagement, loyalty and rewards programs, ancillary fintech products, and multiple sales conversion initiatives. 

>>SmartRyde, a booking platform for airport transfer services, has raised $3.4 million (450 million Japanese yen) in a series A+ round. It was led by led by NVenture Capital Limited, with support from SMBC Venture Capital, Yamaguchi Capital, Hiroshima Venture Capital, Shigagin Regional Revitalization SD Fund, and Iyogin Capital. The company also obtained a subordinated loan from Japan Finance Corporation.

The Tokyo-based startup, which offers connections to more than 700 airports worldwide, aims to improve the way travelers book airport transfer services and modernize operations for the taxi and limousine industry.

The startup recently added a software connection so online travel agencies and airline companies can access the service and offer airport transfer services when booking hotels and flights. 

The funding will go toward expanding business and strengthening the product. 

>>, a booking website for events and attractions, has raised $2.6 million (£2.1 million). That includes $1.9 million (£1.5 million) from angel and corporate investors including Zip World, the rest from the startup’s founders. 

The UK-based startup plans to launch in the UAE and the U.S. this year, with the goal to have 10 million by the end of 2023. 

Besides the marketplace for consumers, the platform also offers operators the ability to digitize ticket sales, the startup said. 

>>Travelio, a platform for short-term and long-term apartment rentals in Indonesia, has raised an undisclosed series C funding round. 

The lead investor was undisclosed. It included participation from DAOL Ventures, Orzon Ventures, Appworks, and Pavilion Capital.

Travelio exclusively manages more than 15,000 properties in 12 cities, the startup said. The funding will go toward expanding into other Indonesian cities and adding a new rent-to-own capability. 

>>Missafir, a platform for short-term and long-term home rentals, has raised an undisclosed pre-series A round of investment led by Turkish real estate developer Ege Yapı. The startup said the money was raised at a $26 million valuation. 

The Turkey-based company’s portfolio includes properties in more than 20 cities in four countries. The startup plans to expand further into its home country and the Adriatic region in Europe.

CompanyStage LeadRaise
ThynkSeries ASingular$13 million
WhimstayUnspecifiedUndisclosed$10 million
SmartRydeSeries A+NVenture Capital Limited$3.4 million
Lovetovisit.comUnspecifiedUnspecified$2.6 million
TravelioSeries CUndisclosedUndisclosed
MissafirPre-series AEge YapıUndisclosed

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: attractions, bookings, funding, hotel technology, ridesharing, short-term rentals, startups, taxis, tours and activities, vacation rentals, vcroundup, venture capital

Photo credit: Whimstay helps vacation rental hosts fill unbooked inventory. Source: Whimstay Whimstay / Whimstay

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