Skift Take

Most of the startups that raised money last week were focused on helping hotels and short-term rentals book more guests and smooth out 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.

Big investments in hotel tech are usually reserved for startups selling comprehensive systems like property management.

But investors clearly see value in simplifying the guest experience based on the latest funding round for Canary Technologies. Products like mobile check-in and AI-generated messaging address customer demand for high-tech experiences, as well as the big resource constraints that hotels still face post-pandemic.

Besides hotel tech, there’s clearly still demand for companies that help hosts make short-term rental income. Three such startups from around the world announced millions in funding last week.

In total, six travel startups announced fundraises totaling over $75 million.

Canary Technologies: $50 Million

Canary Technologies raised $50 million in series C funding. 

The round was led by Insight Partners, who also led Canary’s series B round in 2022. Other investors in the latest round included F-Prime Capital, Thayer Ventures, Y-Combinator, and Commerce Ventures.

“In a year that proved tough on growth and execution in the tech ecosystem, we saw Canary thrive and exceed their ambitious targets, prompting us to double down,” said Thomas Krane, managing director of Insight Partners, in a statement. 

‍The San Francisco-based Canary platform is focused on hotel guest management, with software products for mobile check-in and checkout, upselling, guest messaging, and digital tipping. The company has also added a generative AI chatbot for guest messaging, which is meant to answer specific property questions and sell add-ons like late check-out, without disrupting front desk staff. 

Canary has more than 20,000 clients worldwide, including hotels by IHG, Wyndham, Marriott, Hilton, Four Seasons, and others.

Matsuri Technologies: $8.5 Million

Matsuri Technologies, which offers a platform that hosts can use to manage short-term rentals, has raised $8.5 million (1.34 billion Japanese yen) in series D funding.

The funds came from Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, along with a group of Japanese investors. 

Matsuri raised a $16 million series C round in 2022. 

The Tokyo-based StayX platform includes products for managing listings and bookings, guest messaging and smart locks, and housekeeping and maintenance tasks.

The funds will primarily go toward strengthening the software product, growing the footprint, and hiring. 

Besides the short-term rental product, Matsuri offers hotel tech and owns two brands: Stayme for hotels and S-Villa for vacation rentals.

Roamless: $5 Million

Roamless, an eSIM provider for travelers, has raised $5 million in seed funding. 

Shorooq Partners led the round, with support from Revo Capital, Paribu Ventures, Finberg, and DeBa Ventures.

Roamless says it offers eSIMs in 69 countries, soon expanding to 200 countries, according to its website. Roamless app users can download an eSIM to their mobile phones to obtain internet data internationally without the need to change physical SIM cards. 

The startup is officially based in the U.S., but most of its founders and staff live in Türkiye, according to their LinkedIn pages. 

Badi: $5.4 Million

Badi, a booking platform for furnished rooms and apartments in Spain, has raised $5.4 million (€5 million) from Barlon Capital. 

The startup also secured a $2.1 million (€2 million) loan from Banco Santander.

Barcelona-based Badi has an app and website where travelers can book individual apartments or rooms in shared spaces. The core Badi Marketplace has more than 700,000 listings. 

The startup also offers premium bookings on Badi Plus, which include property management services such as cleaning. Badi Plus lists more than 300 beds, with a target for 800 by the end of the year.

Qstay: $4.6 Million

Qstay, a short-term rental property manager with a booking website, has raised $4.6 million in pre-Series A funding, comprised of conventional and convertible debt.

The Dubai-based startup operates more than 300 properties in four countries, with plans to expand between 2024 and 2026. The platform has facilitated more than 130,000 nights booked, the startup said. 

The company said it projects $63 million in revenue by 2025.

Alō Index: $1.9 Million

Alō Index, which connects to business travelers with sustainability-focused hotels, has raised $1.9 million in pre-seed funding. 

Impellent Ventures led the round, with support from Techstars and a group of angel investors.

New York City-based Alō Index focuses on finding and listing hotels with ESG (environmental, social, and governance) initiatives so that business travelers can more easily meet corporate sustainability goals. The startup evaluates data from individual hotel properties in order to provide insights to travel managers and the ability to compare hotel options based on a corporate client’s goals. 

The funding will go toward improving the platform’s hotel data reporting and verification features, as well as expediting the hotel onboarding process.

Canary TechnologiesSeries CInsight Partners$50 million
Matsuri TechnologiesSeries DVertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India$8.5 million
RoamlessSeedShorooq Partners$5 million
BadiUnspecifiedBarlon Capital$5.4 million
QstayPre-series AUnspecified$4.6 million
Alō IndexPre-seedImpellent Ventures$1.9 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, dwell, funding, insight partners, online travel newsletter, short-term rentals, thayer ventures, the prompt, vcroundup

Photo credit: Pictured: Kimpton Gray Hotel in Chicago, by IHG Hotels & Resorts. IHG approved Canary Technologies as a vendor for digital dipping. Laure Joliet / IHG Hotels & Resorts

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