Travel Startups Raised $358 Million Last Week, the Most Since January

  • Skift Take
    Fewer than 10 travel startups have raised at least $100 million so far this year.

    Last week was the biggest for fundraising in travel tech in almost three months.

    It also had been a few weeks since a travel startup has raised over $100 million. But last week, it happened twice: Once by a startup that rents hydrogen-powered cars to taxi companies, and once by a startup that helps short-term rentals companies manage their business.

    There were four travel startups that announced fundraises last week totaling nearly $358 million. The total for the biggest week this year was $500 million.

    HysetCo: $212.8 Million

    HysetCo, which owns a fleet of hydrogen-powered vehicles that it rents to taxi companies, has raised $212.8 million (€200 million).

    Hy24 led the round and became the majority shareholder of HysetCo with the deal, joining shareholders AirLiquide, TotalEnergies, Toyota France, and Kouros. Other investors for the round included Raise Impact and Eiffel Investment Group.

    Paris-based HysetCo said it owns a fleet of more than 500 hydrogen-powered vehicles and a network of refueling stations in France. Clients also have access to services including fleet management, maintenance, repair, insurance, and training. 

    The company said it has more than 500 drivers, mostly from taxi companies, and it distributes 30 tons of hydrogen each month. It said the vehicles can be refueled in three to five minutes, and they can travel up to 600 kilometers between refuelings. 

    Besides taxi companies, the HysetCo services are available to other companies for various needs. 

    HysetCo said it has doubled in size over the last three years. 

    The funding will go toward expanding across France and the rest of Europe. The company has four refueling stations, according to its website, and plans to establish a dozen more by 2025.

    Guesty: $130 Million

    Guesty, a business management platform for short-term rental companies, has raised $130 million in series F funding. 

    Investment firm KKR led the latest round, with support from Inovia Capital and previous investors Apax, BDT & MSD Partners, and Sixth Street.

    New York City-based Guesty provides a platform meant to help property managers streamline every part of their short-term rental business, including marketing, accounting, payments, bookings, listings on third-party booking sites like Airbnb and, and more. 

    (See Skift’s story.)

    Waymap: $8.7 Million

    Waymap, a navigation app that works without GPS or cellular service, has raised $8.7 million (£7 million). 

    The investment was led by TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good, with support from Venrex and Comprador Holdings.

    London-based Waymap said its technology allows navigation that works outdoors, indoors, and underground. The app uses the smartphone’s built-in sensors to navigate users with accuracy of up to 1 meter, the company said. It includes audio directions for step-by-step and turn-by-turn instructions, such as how many steps to take before reaching a door. The company said there is potential for increased accuracy with artificial intelligence and other tech. 

    Waymap was founded to help those with visual impairments travel more confidently, though the startup said that its capability to operate without cellular service can be useful for anyone.

    Waymap operates in North America and Europe, with plans to expand in mapped areas in Asia Pacific and the Middle East. $6.2 Million, which gives members access to travel at wholesale prices, has raised $6.2 million (€5.8 million).

    The funding came from a group of angel investors, including hedge fund manager and UK parliamentarian Stanley Fink, former CEO of Man Group.

    The London-based startup said users can donate £75 directly to one of its designated charities and receive a lifetime premium membership to Businesses can donate £5,000 and receive 150 memberships. 

    The paid membership includes access to more than 500,000 hotels at wholesale prices. Users can also join the website for free and book through its search engine, powered by Expedia, or one of its partner travel companies listed on the homepage. 

    Each booking made through the platform raises £5 for charity. 

    HysetCoUnspecifiedHy24$212.8 million
    GuestySeries FKKR$130 million
    WaymapUnspecifiedTELUS Pollinator Fund for Good$8.7 million
    CharitableBookings.comUnspecifiedUnspecified$6.2 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.

    Photo Credit: Travel startups raised nearly $358 million last week.
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