Travel Startup Funding This Week

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Travel startups this week announced more than $200 million in funding, including GuruHotel, a startup that helps small hotels accept direct reservations and market their properties.

Sean O’Neill

This week, the travel startup announced more than 1 million TKTK funding.

>>before staying, which helps manage vacation rentals and simplify group travel, has raised $160 million in new funding. Tarsadia Investments and 3L Capital co-led the second round. See Skift report.

>>muse, a maker of property management software for hotels, has raised an undisclosed amount of investment from Salesforce Ventures, the investment arm of the tech giant. Read Skift’s story: “Salesforce-Backed Mews moves the hotel’s technical focus from room to guest.”

>>GuruHotel, a Mexico-based travel startup, raised $2.1 million in an initial round. Anthemis Group, Magic Fund, 500 Startups, Shruti Challa, and others participated.

GuruHotel offers a direct-to-consumer hotel white-label service, such as the next-generation version of Buuteeq, a builder of e-commerce sites optimized for hotels bought by Booking Holdings in 2014.

GuruHotel, which was launched in July 2019, claims that it can use modern methods to help a hotel on board, launch their own official hotel websites and start selling their rooms directly within an hour. In one innovation, it has a different process for guiding consumers along the buying path than the general “booking engine” prevalent today.

Interestingly, it is not a SaaS company that charges a monthly fee or setup fee (as is common practice by most other vendors). Instead, it charges hotels a 5 percent commission on bookings.

The startup is a graduate of the popular Y Combinator startup accelerator. It has 38 employees and has 160 hotels in Mexico and the Caribbean as clients. It generated $3 million in revenue this year.

GuruHotel recently signed an agreement with SiteMinder, the largest channel manager, which will connect GuruHotel’s services with more than 250 property management systems worldwide and increase the company’s potential audience.

>>ConnexPay, which offers integrated merchant processing and a virtual card issuance solution, has raised a $20 million investment led by card issuance service Marqeta. The payments distribution platform is digitizing the flow of funds for the travel industry. More details here.

company The stage Leadership to lift
before staying series b Tarsadia Investment, 3 Liter Capital 160 million dollars
GuruHotel seed Anthemis group $2,100,000
ConnexPay series b market $20,000,000

Skift Cheat Sheet:

We define a startup as a company formed to test and build a repeatable and scalable business model. Few companies meet this definition. Those that are rare often attract investment capital. Their funding rounds are coming in waves.

start-up capital It is the money used to start a business, often led by angel investors and friends or family.

Series A Funding is usually obtained from venture capitalists. The tour aims to help the founders of the startup make sure that their product is something that customers really want to buy.

series b Funding mainly pertains to venture capital firms that help the company grow faster. These fundraising rounds can help recruit skilled workers and develop cost-effective marketing.

Series C Financing is usually related to helping a company expand, such as with acquisitions. In addition to venture capital, hedge funds, investment banks, and private equity firms are often involved.

Series DAnd E and beyond These fundamentally mature companies and funding round may help the company prepare for an IPO or acquisition. A variety of types of private investors may be involved.

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