According to Statista, the statistics portal for market data, digital travel sales are poised to reach a whopping $818 Billion by 2020. With so much revenue at stake, travel remains one of the hottest areas for tech startups, and Europe is no exception to this.
Apart from London and Berlin which have been startup strongholds for a while; Barcelona and Amsterdam are now emerging as important startup hubs for travel tech companies.
Most of the trends in travel tech in Europe mirror global trends, with travel niches, chatbots and hospitality tech solutions being strong focus areas.
To break it down a little more, here’s our pick of the top 5 travel startups in Europe to watch out for right now
Much Better Adventures (London)
What they do: They connect people looking for unique, customized adventure holidays with local travel providers. Whether it’s rafting in Ladakh or trekking in Nepal, this app takes care of everything from transport to equipment. They also offer a SaaS platform that travel providers can use to manage bookings.
What makes them special: Unique experiential travel, especially adventure travel, is a niche that will only grow in times to come and it will be interesting to see how this startup leverages its first mover advantage
Funding: It has raised $750000 + in investment
The Booking Factory (London)
What they do: The Booking Factory is an all-in-one hotel management and marketing platform that helps independent hotels and serviced apartments manage their business and master the guest experience.
What makes them special: It does this through software that helps users build a website and generate online bookings, automate repetitive tasks and implement online check-in and smart kiosks. Their software is specifically focused on independent hotels and small groups of properties. It’s modern and easy to use and works on any size screen, so people can book straight from their tablet or smartphone without compromising on ease of use. Everything is provided as part of their package.
Funding: They have raised £550,000 in seed funding in 3 rounds.
What they Do: Helps hotels boost their direct revenue by enabling bookings and improving guest relations. It provides the hotels with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) powered tools that help them increase their conversion rate and bookings
What makes them special: With behemoth aggregators like booking.com and Aribnb monopolizing hotel bookings, many hotels are beginning to feel too dependent and disempowered. Hotelchamp wants to put the power back in the hands of the hotels. If it works it could emerge as an interesting alternative to the big aggregators; and one that will definitely have more love and loyalty from the hotels themselves.
Traction: They service 1,000 + hotels in more than 40 countries. It has some impressive names in its portfolio- from the Millennium Hotel Group to The Athenaeum in London and Hotel Palazzo Versace in Dubai.
Funding: They have raised more than 4M euros since launch.
What they do : Stratajet aims to make the process of flying via jet planes available to everyone; or at least to more folks. It uses algorithms to connect flyers to available airplanes; maximizing capacity utilization and reducing middlemen.
What makes them special: Private jet travel is another travel niche that is set to grow exponentially as people become more aspirational. The fact that its founded by a pilot turned computer geek (Jonathan Nicol ) makes it even more interesting
Funding: It has raised more than $16M in funding.
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What they do : Destygo has an AI based chatbot which helps travel companies communicate better with their customers.
It has already built chat and voice assistants for several companies, including some major airlines.
What makes them special : They are a graduate of the IAG’s Hangar 51 accelerator. Their B2B approach along with their focus on travel has helped them differentiate themselves from other chatbot companies.
Funding: They have raised 1 million euros