Travel technology startups are on a roll, and wanderlust travelers are quickly taking notice. There’s a good reason for this. People are now traveling the world more frequently than ever before. Of course, there are dozens of reasons why technological innovations in travel are seeing a major upward spiral, with endless information at our fingertips being one of them. One thing is for sure, your next travel experience is nothing short of taps away.
Like in all emerging industries, there are a few breakout ventures that are hitting the ground running, and we’re here to cover what’s happening right now in our industry. In fact, here are three major tech investments you should know about.
Three Travel Tech Investments
Travello – The more, the merrier – this is the idea behind, Travello, an Australian based social travel app that boasts of 350,000 travelers using this app to travel with people across the world. We have Travello in our list owing to the fact that it raised $3.6 million this week in its second round of funding from several investors. In its first round, this startup raised $900,000. Launched in 2015, this company is like the social media for travelers, where you can meet travel mates from all around the globe, get the best local deals, and get a heads up on travel tips for your journey. Ryan Hanly, CEO, and Co-founder of Travello believes that this app couldn’t have set shop at a better time – in today’s world where everyone loves to socialize. However, Travello isn’t the first of its kind – Gogobot was another similar app that raised a funding of $39 million and was acquired by Ctrip.com. Where Are You Now (WAYN) is yet another social travel tech startup that raised $11 million from investors. However, WAYN was acquired by Lastminute Group for over $1.2 million.
But what makes Travello’s differentiation is the fact that this startup focuses on community development as opposed to several other apps that have lost their community-feel. This mobile-based app will receive commissions through the recommendation of tours and activities. In addition to this, Travello will receive revenue by helping companies get visibility.
Paravel – In a round led by Fitz Gate Ventures and 8VC, this luggage manufacturing Startup Company raised around $3.2 million in seed funding. This company manufactures luggage that is foldable and compact, something all our travel junkies will be grateful for. Taking technology to a whole new level, this luggage is known for its ability to collapse flat for storage, which makes room for an extra bag or even a suitcase.
The leathers and textiles that go into the making of this luggage are from state-of-the-art luxury mills, and this multi-functional luggage are priced at an attainable cost, making it the hot favorite among those who are constantly on the move. Founded in the year 2016 by Indré Rockefeller and Andy Krantz, this seed round saw major investors apart from 8VC and Fitz Gate Ventures like Jonathan and Lizzie Tisch, Jenny Fleiss (CEO and co-founder of Rent the Runway and Jetblack), Allison Williams, Shan-Lyn Ma (CEO and co-founder of Zola), and David Heath (CEO and Co-founder of Bombas)
Kimkim – The total funding received by this Palo Alto-based company stands at $3.7 million. Launched in December of 2015, the first of a series of seed investments started at $1 million in 2016. Post this, it raised $2.7 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners. This startup aims at easing your travel experience by providing travel insights and connecting you with local experts.
This seems to be an old-school approach, and mixing human agents with the online booking process can see a downward spiral, but Kimkim proves otherwise. While most of the processes are manual, the company plans on taking the leap to automation in the near future. As of now, travelers and customers can interact with travel agents who know the nooks and cranny of whatever chosen travel destination. The interaction in online, on a conversational interface that is user-friendly.
It’s clear that technology has seeped into the very fabric of our society, and has gained a footing in the travel industry as well. With blockchain, artificial intelligence, chatbots and mobility, the future of travel is already here, and travel tech companies are stepping up their game in a bid to keep up with the demands of their customers. Also, customer services are now the top priority, so making the life of their customers easier and giving customer experience a whole new facelift is the plan.
As far as investments are concerned, travel tech startups are seeing great days. With startups striving to become pioneers in travel technology solutions and innovations, the amount of venture capital funding stood at $25.45 billion in 2017. And what’s more, this year, the numbers only seem to rise, what with the months of January and February alone this year reaching close to $6.5 billion across over 76 deals.