Skift Take

Squake has a mission to spread the word about travel carbon emissions, while HiJiffy is using tech from ChatGPT to power a chatbot for hotels.

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 $7 million in venture capital this week.

>>Squake has raised $3.8 million (€3.5 million) for technology that powers carbon emissions calculations for the travel and logistics industries. 

The funding round was led by Simon Capital, with participation from Schenker Ventures, Rivus Capital, Neosfer, and Backbone Ventures, as well as individuals Michael Riegel and Matthäus Niewodniczanski.

The startup has now raised €5 million to date. Born from the Lufthansa Innovation Hub, the Berlin-based company has been operating independently since 2021. 

Squake said its software can make carbon calculations for all types of travel and logistics activities — including flights, shipping, car rentals, and hotels — based on national and international standards, meant to provide information to help travelers and companies make more sustainable choices. Travelers and logistics buyers can view the information through the booking tools and ordering platforms that subscribe to the Squake service. 

Squake said it also connects clients with potential sustainability partners, including sustainable aviation fuels, direct carbon capture, and reforestation providers.

The funding will go toward technology research and development, hiring, and growing the business.

Philipp von Lamezan, CEO and co-founder of Squake, pointed out in a statement that existing carbon cutting measures may not be enough to stop global warming in time. 

“Consumer-led efforts will only get us so far, which is why corporate change is so crucial. With customer, competitor, and investor-related pressures growing, we support companies by helping them react as fast as possible to ensure swift transformations,” von Lamezan stated. 

>>HiJiffy, which offers a ChatGPT-powered conversational AI chatbot to answer guest questions, has raised $2.7 million (€2.5 million) in venture capital. It was led by Caixa Capital, with participation from Lince Capital and Portugal Ventures. 

The startup also got a grant of $1.4 million (€1.3 million) from the European Commission through the Recovery and Resilience Plan, focused on tourism acceleration and transformation. 

(See Skift’s story.)

>>RezKit, which provides a booking platform for travel businesses, has raised $318,000 (£250,000) in seed funding from Jenson Funding Partners. 

The England-based company said its booking system was founded with the intention of easily integrating with other systems in the travel industry, meant to give travel businesses easier access to other useful vendors. 

The funds will go toward hiring and strengthening the tech product. 

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Tags: artificial intelligence, booking technology, carbon emissions, chatgpt, climate change, funding, hotel tech, lufthansa, startups, sustainability, vcroundup, venture capital

Photo credit: Squake was born in the Lufthansa Innovation Hub. TJDarmstadt / Wikimedia

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