So far this year, travel tech startups have raised over $2.5B across 198 deals, and an increasing number of those deals are moving overseas. In keeping with this, we’re also seeing that top investors in travel tech are becoming a more cosmopolitan crowd.
We used CB Insights data to rank VCs by their unique travel tech investments (i.e., number of portfolio companies) since 2012, and found that among the top 11 VCs in travel tech featured in our infographic, four are located outside the US, including Index Ventures (UK), Caixa Capital Risc (Spain), Blume Ventures (India), and Gobi Partners (China). The rest of the VCs on the list are all based in California.
We define travel tech as tech-enabled companies offering products and services focused on tourism, including booking services, search and planning platforms, on-demand travel, and recommendation sites. Car-hailing services are excluded from this analysis.
Some key takeaways from our infographic:
- 500 Startups tops the list as the most active VC investor in travel tech companies between 2012 and 2016 year-to-date, with over 15 unique investments. The biggest round they participated in over the time period was to US-based company Zozi, which secured a $30M Series C investment from 500 Startups in 2015, alongside other investors including Richard Branson. Zozi, which offers online booking software for activity-themed travel businesses, is the only travel tech company to receive a follow-on round from 500 Startups over the time period.
- 500 Startups also has a particularly international outlook when it comes to travel investments. Over half of the travel tech companies in our infographic that are backed by 500 Startups are from outside the US.
- Plug and Play Ventures made over 7 unique investments in travel tech since 2012. The firm has backed the American company GetGoing, in rounds that include seed and Series A fundings. The company was acquired by Netherlands-based global business-travel management platform BCD Travel in January this year. Plug and Play Ventures also participated in follow-on rounds to the Russian company TravelTipz and the American company BookingPal.
- Accel Partners is tied with Plug and Play as the second-place most-active VC investor in travel tech over the last five years. The firm has made follow-on investments in the Russian company Ostrovok, and the American company HotelTonight. HotelTonight obtained a $45M Series D investment in 2013 from Accel Partners and other investors, including Battery Ventures, First Round Capital, and US Venture Partners. It was the company’s largest funding round over the time period tracked.
- Interestingly, 500 Startups and Plug and Play Ventures both backed the startups Olset and Touristeye, the latter of which was acquired by Lonely Planet in November, 2013.
- The VC firm General Catalyst Partners is the only VC on the list that has backed Airbnb. Airbnb is by far the most well-funded travel tech company with more funding than the next 10 companies’ total funding combined — Airbnb has raised $4.2B to date.
- In addition to Airbnb, only one other company in the infographic is a unicorn valued at $1B+. It is Decolar, an online airline and hotel booking service in Latin America, with backing from Accel Partners.
See the rest below. Click image to enlarge.
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