Travel startups are no doubt fun ideas. But they have shown returns that aren't as fun by VC standards as other industries.
Airbnb's new user-generated city guides feature suggests the company has aspirations that extend well beyond the hospitality and accommodations-sharing sector. Companies like Yelp and TripAdvisor are likely watching this new move with interest.
Professionally managed vacation rentals, when done right, offer an increased level of confidence for consumers. Vacasa's $35 million in funding is an endorsement of its growth trajectory and that of a key segment of the industry.
Still-unproven Lola, the travel startup, has some online travel heavy hitters as co-founders, investors and board members. If the premise to involve human travel agents in trip-planning doesn't work out then the team can always pivot toward something else.
Will the deflation in overall tech startup sector affect travel startups old and new? Listen in.
Don't expect JetBlue Technology Ventures to start throwing big bucks into travel startups. Instead, the airline is looking for some brand benefit from getting involved in the startup scene and to get access to some new technologies along the way.
Whether hospitality or booking, Africa presents an enormous opportunity for first-movers right now.
Clearstone Venture Partners claims that funding LeisureLink is a better investment than in Airbnb or HomeAway. That may be a frivolous boast but what's clear is that a lot of people are going to make a ton of money on the business and distribution side of the vacation rental and alternative lodging industry.
Anyone putting money into Uber at this point is doing so at a time where Uber's earliest investors are warning publicly about a potential bubble bursting for unicorns and other startups. While Uber still has potential, it's highly unlikely that investing at its current valuation is a good idea for anyone.
With Skyscanner's new funding and ample cash, the company sees itself as an acquirer over the next few months. Skyscanner believes a few modest acquisitions, increased marketing, and continued organic growth should do the trick. There won't be any quick, easy answers as this looks like a strategy for the long haul.