6 travel startups since 2015: where are they?
Some of the Skift businesses featured in its first travel seed funding roundup have continued to thrive, while others…not so much.
Skift has published hundreds of travel startup funding stories since our launch in 2012, featuring Airbnb and provider of tours and activities GetYourGuide among other companies in some of these early articles. We took our coverage even further three years later with a weekly roundup of startups that had received or announced funding from investors.
As nearly eight years have passed since that first seed fundraiser, it’s time to ask what happened to the six companies Skift presented on February 19, 2015? So we take a look at the trajectory of these startups after this article. We’ve listed the six companies we featured in order of the amount of money they raised the week of this funding roundup.
Stayzilla, a Chennai, India-based homestay and budget hotel booking startup founded in 2007, announced that week that it had raised $20 million in a Series B round. He also lifted An additional $14 million after launch. But despite its fundraising success, the company went out of business in February 2017, with CEO and co-founder Yogendra Vasupal announcing it. the company had suspended bookings on its website and mobile app, revealing that the company was unable to grow and break even. Stayzilla reported losses of $14 million against revenues of $2 million for the fiscal year ending March 2016.
PriceMatch, a Paris-based hotel revenue management startup, raised $9.1 million in a Series A funding round from Partech Ventures and Northzone. The PriceMatch value was acquired by the Priceline group in 2015which ends with PriceMatch integrated into its BookingSuite set of software services for hoteliers. PriceMatch has been renamed RateManager, which the Priceline Group has made available to hotels around the world. RateManager was closed in spring 2018.
BookingPal CEO and founder Alex Aydin said the vacation rental distributor used the majority of the $5 million it raised in a Series B round to invest in technology. He acknowledged that the company, which launched in 2014, initially only used one property management system, which it used to connect a single property manager to an online travel agency.
Aydin said BookingPal now uses more than 80 different PMS providers, which he added has helped the company distribute more than 180,000 vacation rentals to 55 online travel agencies. BookingPal has also lifted $12 million in 2019, the funding that Aydin said allowed it to expand beyond its initial markets of California, Florida and Hawaii to 48 states as well as 33 international markets, citing Mexico, France and Italy among its greatest. He added that the company has provided properties to companies including Airbnb, Marriott’s Homes and Villas and VRBO.
However, Aydin admitted that BookingPal does not have enough resources to launch a property owners platform when asked what has been the company’s biggest setback since its launch.
trip teasea London-based startup that aims to help hotels increase their share of direct bookings, raised $2 million in a starting lap. The company also raised $9 million in Series B financing in 2017, some of which have doubled the number of employees in its London and New York offices. trip tease, which works with more than 12,000 hotelscontinued open offices in Singapore and Barcelona.
iTravelleran India-based startup that allowed travelers to select vacation packages or customize one of their own, had raised $1 million in a Series A round of ah! Ventures, LetsVenture and Mantra Ventures. It was acquired by the Lastminute.com group in 2019 as part of the Swiss-based company’s plans to make inroads into the Indian market.
However, iTraveller has ceased operations, with its last booking being in February 2020.
“So even though iTraveller as a brand is no longer in business, we have successfully redeployed its technical team members to our group, and they continue to improve our customer service experience in India,” said said a spokesperson for the lastminute.com group. said.
Flytograph, a travel photography service that connects travelers with photographers, raised $650,000 from nine angel investors. The company, which launched in 2013 in Victoria, British Columbia, used funds from that 2015 round of angel funding to hire its first employees, including a developer to build its initial booking platform.
Founder and CEO Nicole Smith said Flytographer now operates in 350 cities and has expanded beyond vacation photography to offer photos of surprise marriage proposals and hometowns. Smith, however, acknowledged that Flytographer laid off 80 people working at its headquarters at the start of the pandemic.