The state of venture funding
Table of Contents
- The state of venture funding
- Travel retailers must understand the messiness of human decision making
- Y Combinator travel startups
- OTA customer acquisition ratios
- The power of network effects
- Simple math to set up a sales team
- Startup graveyard
- Business travel is up
- Top Travel Apps
- The signs of Founder-Market fit
- TravelX is born with a mission to reinvent the travel industry
- A picture is worth 67890 words
- Publicly traded online travel 4Q 2021 results
- The world’s first nomadic hotel concept
- Travel photographers of the year
- The travel industry’s most digitally underserved sector: bus transportation
- Airbnb, hosts and guests step up
- Channeling our inner Ted Lasso – Be curious
- Q4 2021 OTA performance
- A story of when big innovations happen
- Adopting a B4B mindset
- Hats off to airline pilots
- Google mandates workers back to the office
- Travel startup investments 2021 – 2022
- M&A and Partnerships
Redpoint Ventures published an interesting deck on the state of venture funding as public and private markets recalibrate.
Travel retailers must understand the messiness of human decision making
Ogilvy’s Vice Chairman Rory Sutherland addresses the relationship between tech and psychology in the travel industry. Travel companies must understand how human psychology and emotion play a pivotal role in customer behavior rather than trying to measure everything rationally. “Travel is a business of engineers desperately trying to pretend they are not in the entertainment industry. Airlines are a mixture of hardcore logistics combined with the fact that you are dealing with a bunch of completely irrational customers.” Read more at FUTURE OF TRAVEL RETAIL: UNDERSTAND THE ‘MESSINESS OF HUMAN DECISION MAKING’.
Y Combinator travel startups
According to Marc Andreessen, General Partner of Andreessen Horowitz, “Y Combinator is the best program for creating top-end entrepreneurs that has ever existed.” Of the 414 startups that went through the YC Winter 2022 Batch, 10% had more than $50k of monthly revenue entering the program. These are the 3 travel companies that were part of the latest batch:
- Pursuit (Ohio, USA). Marketplace for urban professionals to find lodging and guided outdoor experiences in amazing natural locations.
- VacationHomeRents (Seattle, USA). Kayak.com for vacation rentals. Helps users explore and compare vacation rental options across many platforms.
- Shuttle Central (Cancun, Mexico). API for travel companies to sell ground transportation.
OTA customer acquisition ratios
Back in early 2020, Peter Kern (the then new Expedia CEO) said the COVID crisis presented an opportunity to reduce their reliance on Google and performance marketing in general. The intention was to use customer data to rein in spending, optimize customer acquisition costs and focus more on customer retention. Other OTAs expressed similar intentions. Comparing the ratio of marketing costs to revenues in Q4 2021 and Q4 2019 gives us a glimpse of whether things are changing on that front. Airbnb had the greatest reduction in marketing/revenues, going from 39% in Q4 2019 to 23% in Q4 2021. eDreams, on the other hand, saw a strong increase from 62% to 83%. (Note: eDreams does not disclose its marketing costs, so I have used “variable costs” data instead, of which marketing is the largest component).
Source: Quarterly Results. I have used “Sales and Marketing” costs for all companies, except for eDreams for which I have used “Variable Costs” given that the company does not provide further disclosure.
The power of network effects
NFX is a pre-seed & seed stage venture firm with a unique focus in network effects. In 2018 they released a study that showed that network effects are responsible for 70% of the value created by tech companies since 1994. It turns out that having a network effect is the single most predictable attribute of the highest value technology companies — other than perhaps “having a great CEO.” And yet surprisingly, only 20% of startups have network effects in them. Worth revisiting the different types of network effects and some of the conclusions of this study given that there are few areas of expertise that are more valuable and impactful for founders. Read more at The Network Effects Manual: 13 Different Network Effects (and counting)
Simple math to set up a sales team
This post (Simple Math to Set Up a Sales Team) by David Sacks (known as one of the best startup product strategists and operators of the last 20 years) provides simple rules that you can use to structure quotas, compensation, and territories for a new sales team.
Back in 2016, there was a much publicized study that revealed that “in the 45 days prior to booking a trip, Americans made 140 visits to travel sites, British travelers made 121 visits and Canadians made 161 visits”. This study and the perceived pain point may have sparked many travel planning startups, most of which have not survived. And not only startups. It turns out that the answer to the question raised in the tweet below (from 2016) is “no”. Google Trips was discontinued in 2019. To be continued.
Business travel is up
Corporate travel transactions are up significantly over the past nine weeks, with small and medium-size companies driving the acceleration. This WSJ article highlights that the increase is driven by a variety of factors: workers are returning to offices, restrictions are dropping around the world, and clients who once avoided in-person meetings are once again comfortable with it.
For those who have been on top of the latest tech news, you’ve probably seen different kinds of businesses exploring the potential of NFTs for their business. So here is a good read if you are wondering how hotels can start experimenting with NFTs too.
As Ukraine’s invasion continues to go on, it is now estimated that the conflict could cost $10.6 billion to international tourism. Among so many great initiatives to support Ukraine and refugees fleeing from the country, I’d like to highlight two: Hotelbeds launched “Make room for Ukraine”, and Booking.com deployed a tech solution to find rooms for Ukrainian refugees.
Week by week we keep bringing facts and figures about the investment sums in travel tech all over the world, so you wouldn’t be surprised if I tell you that 46% of travel app venture deals in 2021 involved ridesharing, rental, or hailing companies. Well, I’m happy to see the trust from investors being reestablished – and I’m already looking forward to seeing wider diversity in travel tech investments this year.
Many of us wondered about how the “new normal” would be, and if our future would be “masked” or not. It seems that the time has come for some airlines to decide if it’s time to drop the masks when flying. To give you an overview: this week KLM, easyJet and American Airlines have announced their standpoint on the topic. For more info you can click on the name of each airline.
We have been talking about place branding quite often in this newsletter, so I really enjoyed seeing that Geneva Tourism launched the Choco Pass. I mean, together with the Alps, this is veeery spot-on with the Swiss brand. Bravo! And if you are interested in reading more about place branding and the travel industry Alex, make sure to check out our latest report, which is available for download here.
OYO is the pioneer in the hospitality sector to launch a play-to-earn game as part of their business strategy to boost and retain customer engagement. Rewards include Amazon gift cards and hotel amenities such as stays of up to 20 free nights. And seems like it’s working: their mobile app is currently the third most downloaded travel app globally with over 100 million downloads. Not bad!
London-based mobility company Skyports has raised $23 million to expand its operations. With the new capital, the startup will step up its work with electric air taxi manufacturers and operators to provide take-off and landing infrastructure in key launch markets.
Top Travel Apps
Of the top 10 most downloaded travel apps in the world, in the US and in Europe, 5 apps appear in all three lists: Google Maps, Uber, Booking, Google Earth and Airbnb.
OTA apps. The fastest growing OTA app in the USA is Hopper. It went from being downloaded 5.3 million times in 2020 to being the most downloaded OTA app in 2021 with 15 million.
Historically, Vrbo was an underperforming OTA app prior to the pandemic. It’s now surging at 1.5 million US monthly downloads in February 2022, its most ever. Engagement is also increasing, with a 43% increase in sessions per MAU over the past six months, more than any other OTA app. Vrbo had 85 million monthly user sessions in the US in Feb 2022, vs around 20 million in both Feb 2019 and Feb 2020.
Hotel apps – USA. Downloads of the top 5 hotel apps decreased 3% YoY in 2021 but user sessions increased 34%. Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt had the highest year-over-year user session growth rates.
Airline apps – USA. Ryanair had the highest Q4 year on year increase in sessions of all airlines, with +591%.
Car rental apps – USA. Turo and Getaround, two peer-to-peer car sharing apps are growing faster than the traditional car rental players.
The signs of Founder-Market fit
Most of the discussions around “Founder-Market Fit” focuses on the more tangible concept of industry expertise. James Courier, General Partner at venture firm NFX, highlights the other concrete dimensions that contribute to Founder-Market fit.
TravelX is born with a mission to reinvent the travel industry
Blockchain-based travel distribution startup TravelX raised $10 million in seed funding. The round was led by Borderless Capital. The Florida-based startup aims to create a more frictionless industry using blockchain technology to tokenize inventory and develop new ways of distribution. The team of travel and blockchain specialists behind TravelX include founder/CEO Juan Pablo Lafosse (founder of Almundo), Chief Business Officer Roula Zaaour (former COO at Hopper) and CCO Francisco Vigo (founder of Avantrip). Some of the ways that TravelX is reinventing the industry:
- Tokenized airline and hotel inventory that can be exchanged, transferred or resold.
- No GDS fees, credit card fees, payment gateway fees, reduction in after-sale cost (call center).
- Immediate reimbursements and changes managed by smart contracts.
- Tickets sales up to 36 months in advance.
- New, flexible and fully-automated content opens new opportunities for OTAs\
A picture is worth 67890 words
It took Malcolm Gladwell 67890 words to explain in his book “The Outliers” that the key to success in any field is simply a matter of practicing a specific task. I love how visual illustrator Alex Maese is able to communicate this powerful concept in one simple picture. You can find more of his mood booster visuals here. A reminder that visuals can create a more emotional connection with consumers and help communicate a company’s product and services in a quicker and more efficient manner.
Publicly traded online travel 4Q 2021 results
In the last newsletter I showed 4Q results for 4 OTAs. Here is a more complete list of 4Q 2021 revenues and EBITDA, with 2020 and 2019 comparisons.
The world’s first nomadic hotel concept
Moliving is a luxury mobile hotel with independent units that can be picked up and parked anywhere. As the world’s self-described first nomadic hotel concept, these luxury units offer a five-star hotel experience. Moliving will launch their first hotel experience in New York’s Hudson Valley in 2023. Rather than competing with the traditional hotel model, this is a compliment to those hotels who have large properties and have room for outdoor units during seasonal peaks. Read more.
Travel photographers of the year
Worth taking a look at the Travel Photographer of the Year 2021 Winners. The overall winner was Fortunato Gatto, from Italy. The winning images will be displayed in London’s Granary Square in April and May 2022.
The travel industry’s most digitally underserved sector: bus transportation
Globally, there are 34 million bus travelers per day compared to only 6 for air travel. That’s a massive ~6x difference. For Latin America this difference is 18x. Furthermore, the bus ticket-buying process is only 10% digitized versus 85% for air travel, 65% for hotels and 40% for trains. Latin America seems to be the geography with the largest upside. Latin America’s bus passengers per day are typically 13x that of Europe and 24x North America’s. Chile and Colombia alone have more than 2x and 4x the daily bus passengers compared to Europe and North America. Great post by Brian Walsh, Head of WIND Ventures, on why they invested in Busbud. Read more.
Airbnb, hosts and guests step up
As the number of refugees from Ukraine who have fled to neighboring countries reaches 1 million, Airbnb.org is funding short term housing for up to 100,000 refugees in nearby countries, including Poland, Germany, Hungary and Romania. All stays are free for refugees, funded by Airbnb, Airbnb.org donors and hosts. If you want to support this cause, you can support make a donation here: https://airbnb.org/get-involved. Furthermore, there has been a surge of Airbnb reservations in Ukraine from guests across the world who don’t intend to show up—but do want to show their support. As of March 3rd, more than 60,000 nights had been booked in Ukraine, generating $1.9 million. Guests from the US had booked 34,000 nights and UK guests accounted for 8,000 nights. Read more at WSJ: People Are Booking Airbnbs in Ukraine as a Way to Send Aid.
Channeling our inner Ted Lasso – Be curious
Being curious can be a superpower which can differentiate the good from the great. This post by Ted Lamade, Managing Director at The Carnegie Institution for Science, highlights the benefits of being curious. The fictional character Ted Lasso personifies it with an inspiring speech on being curious and not judgmental (watch the one minute video darts scene).
It’s also the most most common trait observed among innovators according to Walter Isaacson, author of “The Innovators”: Curiosity. Pure, passionate, and playful curiosity about everything. Steve Jobs was curious about calligraphy and coding, while Da Vinci was curious about art and anatomy. Ben Franklin wanted to know about science, the humanities and poetry. Even Einstein wanted to understand Mozart at the same time that he studied general relativity. Curiosity leads to an interest in all sorts of disciplines, which means you can stand at the intersection of the arts and sciences, which is where creativity occurs. A wide range in curiosity allows you to see patterns exist across nature and how those patterns ripple.”
Roelof Botha of Sequoia Capital highlighted curiosity as the most important characteristic of a venture capital investor.: The most important thing is curiosity. Are you interested in learning about new things? Are you interested in meeting new people? Are you interested in listening to their ideas about a company and how they are going to change the world? If not, or if you lose this curiosity, then you become jaded and you should probably stop being an investor.
Q4 2021 OTA performance
Airbnb and Booking had the highest Q4 adjusted EBITDA in their history.
Airbnb had the most “modest” growth (+80%) in Q4 2021 vs Q4 2020, but it was the only OTA with growth vs pre-pandemic Q4 2019. eDreams had the highest YoY growth in Q4 (+218%) but it was -28% vs Q4 2019. Airbnb had the most lowest growth at +80% vs Q4 2020, but it was the only company to show growth (+38%) vs pre-pandemic Q4 2019.
A story of when big innovations happen
Morgan Housel, partner at Collaborative Fund wrote that one of the the great ironies of war which he struggles to know how to reconcile is that so many of the greatest things we value today came from the worst events we pray to avoid. His post When The Magic Happens was written in August 20202 in the context of the Pandemic and it is a story about when big innovations happen and why 2020, for all the hell its brought, could be the new beginnings of something promising. It’s a particularly prescient post that takes a deeper relevance in today’s horrible context of Putin’s war on Ukraine.
Adopting a B4B mindset
Reframing your business-to-business (B2B) company as a business-for-business (B4B) company can increase revenues, customer retention, and employee morale. Companies with the B2B mindset ask “How much can we sell to this customer to grow our business?”. B4B means asking “How much can we help our customers grow?”. B2C businesses that frame their mission as working for customers rather than selling to them will focus their thinking on how they can help consumers succeed with the jobs for which they were hired — rather than getting fired and replaced by a competitor. By adopting a B4B mindset and focusing on helping others, we end up creating much more value — both for ourselves and for the world. Read more – MIT Management Review.
Hats off to airline pilots
Fascinating video from storm Eunice at London Heathrow Airport streamed live on Feb 18th, with a few hundred thousand people that watched the live stream of planes trying to land (or not). The commentary is priceless too. Video – YouTube.
Google mandates workers back to the office
Google will require employees back about three days a week in some of its US, UK and Asia Pacific offices starting April 4th. An internal email told employees in San Francisco that the reasons for this decision were “advances in prevention and treatment, the steady decline in cases we continue to see and the improved safety measures we have implemented”. Maybe there’s also productivity elements driving the decision. The return-to-office plans might mean that business trips will come next. Read more.
Travel startup investments 2021 – 2022
Using Travel Tech Essentialist’s Startups and Investors dataset, there are 179 travel startups that have raised at least one financing round since 2021 to date. A total of $9.8 billion has been raised in the last round by these by these startups. Brief summary of the 179 travel startups…
Headquarters in 41 countries
- USA: 63 startups
- England: 18
- Spain and Germany: 11 each
- 37 other countries: 76
Headquarters in 99 cities
- San Francisco and London: 15 startups each
- New York: 9
- Barcelona: 7
- 95 other cities: 148
- SoftBank: 9
- Gaingels, Thayer Ventures: 5 startups each
- Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, Tiger Global, Heartcore Capital: 4 each
- B2B (tech and services for travel suppliers & airports): 50 startups
- Transportation (Air, Ground, Rail, Maritime): 29
- OTAs, Travel Agencies, Booking Engines, Metasearches: 26
- 6 other macro categories: 74
Financing round stage (and average amount)
- Seed: 50 financing rounds (average $4.5 million)
- Series A: 30 ($11.5 million)
- Series B: 19 ($45 million)
- Other stages: 80
If you’re interested in digging deeper into data from 934 travel startups and 2010 VCs and angel investors, please go here.
- On-demand car rental San Francisco-based company Kyte closed a funding round of $200 million from Goldman Sachs and Ares Global Management.
- London-based mobility company Skyports has raised $23 million to expand its electric air taxi infrastructure and drone operations.
- CivitFun Hospitality raised €2 million. The Barcelona-based startup automates guest management processes such as check-in and check-out for hotels and vacation rental properties. Read more at Civitfun Hospitality capta dos millones para digitalizar el ‘check-in’ hotelero
- Icelandic airline software vendor Dohop announced an undisclosed growth equity round from Scottish Equity Partners to accelerate growth and develop its virtual interlining offering that allows airlines to sell complex itineraries without the need for codesharing or traditional interline agreements.
- Germany-based eVTOL aircraft startup Volocopter raised $170 million in a Series E funding round led by WP Investment.
- Hotel Tech startup Selfbook raised a $15 million extension of its Series A financing., valuing the company at $300 million. Tiger Global led the round, with new strategic hotelier partners also participating.
- Dónde, a travel as a work benefit startup in Salt Lake City, announced a $3.3 million Seed round with Kickstart Fund leading. Dónde aims to help employees and employers by streamlining “travel as a work benefit”.
- Santa Barbara-based HearHere, the company behind an audio entertainment and immersive storytelling road-trip app, raised $3.2 million in seed funding led by RV and outdoor retailer Camping World.
- Travel management app Trzmo raised $1.2 million from private investors. Launched in January, the app presents flight itineraries and real-time changes, ground transportation details, weather and currency information and duty-free shopping recommendations in one dashboard.
- GetMyBoat, the world’s largest boat rental marketplace, announced that Yanmar has acquired a majority stake in the business and injected $21 million in growth capital as part of the Series B round.
- Ember, the Utah-based vacation home co-ownership startup raised $17.4 million, in a round led by Peter Thiel. In September, three similar startups also got funding: Mexico-based Kokomo ($56 million), US-based Pacaso ($125 million) and London-based Altacasa (€2 million).
- San Francisco-based Canary Technologies, which is modernizing the hotel tech stack with a fully mobile web end-to-end Guest Management System, raised $15 million in Series A funding led by F-Prime Capital, with participation from Y Combinator and Thayer Ventures among others.
- Busbud, the Canadian bus ticket booking platform received raised $11 Million for LATAM expansion in a round co-led by a group of Canada-based VC funds and Chilean Wind Ventures. Busbud also joins forces with Chilean intercity bus leader Recorrido.
- UK-based proptech company Lavanda has raised $7.25 million to further develop its flexible rental platform that optimizes occupancy and revenue for residential apartment blocks.
- Daytrip, the intercity car transfer platform headquartered in London closed a Series A round of €6.14 million, led by Euroventures.
- Barcelona-based hospitality recruitment platform Hosco closed a €3.4 million round led by Aldea Ventures and Torsa Capital, with existing investors Nauta Capital, Athos Capital and Business Angels participating.
- NY-based point.me, a real-time flight rewards search engine, raised $2 million in seed funding led by PAR Capital Ventures.
- Cruisewatch, a German startup launched in 2016 as both a consumer-facing search platform for cruise trippers and B2B provider of travel technology tools, raised $1 million.
M&A and Partnerships
- Luggage storage platform Stasher acquired Dallas-based short-term luggage storage network Cubby. Read more at Stasher takes off with Cubby acquisition.
- Bookaway Group acquired Plataforma 10, a leading ground transportation technology company from Argentina which partners with more than 400 bus companies in Latin America to retail their tickets through multiple channels, including its own website, via travel agencies as well as more than 2,000 local shops and kiosks across the country. Bookaway has raised $46 million in two funding rounds since 2020 to create a global ground transportation. Read more at Bookaway Group acquires Plataforma 10 of Argentina.
- Travelzoo announced the creation of a metaverse division. Travelzoo Meta will launch in April as a paid subscription-based service that provides members with exclusive access to Metaverse travel experiences. Read more at Travelzoo Creates Metaverse Division
- OTA Insight, a global leader in cloud-based hospitality business intelligence, acquired Madrid-based Transparent, a market leading provider of data and business intelligence for the short-term rental industry. The combination creates a comprehensive platform for data and analytics across both hotel and short-term rental industries. Read more.
- One month after acquiring Barqo (a peer-to-peer boating marketplace based in Amsterdam), London-based boat rental platform Borrow A Boat acquires accommodation platform Beds on Board, a UK-based P2P platform connecting boat owners with people who want to stay on a boat without using it in open water.
- Travelzoo acquired the business unit of Secret Escapes in Spain, thereby increasing its reach from 870,000 to 1.5 Million travelers in Spain. Read more.
- Hotel guest app Criton is being acquired by Nonius, a software company that creates hospitality tools covering in-room entertainment, check-in automation, analytics, WiFi and digital signage.
- Global financial super-app Revolut, with 18 million customers worldwide, partnered Kiwi.com in a joint initiative to incentivize travel. New Revolut users will receive a cashback of up to 30 GBP on their next booking with Kiwi.com.
- Hopper is making its third acquisition in less than a year, with the acquisition of Paris-based airline merchandising and customer care platform Smooss, founded in 2019. The entire Smooss team will join Hopper as part of the team leading its B2B initiative, Hopper Cloud, and will work to expand adoption of it among airlines. Read more.
Space technologies have the power to be a big part of shaping the future of travel – and we can already use them to solve current challenges. This is what the upcoming CASSINI Hackathon will be about: who are the innovators ready to use EU space tech to transform European tourism? The applications are now open! We can’t wait to see which innovations will come out of this year’s challenge!
What does the movie The Bodyguard and the startup HearHere have in common? Kevin Costner. The actor is the co-founder of the audio app that plays stories based on a traveler’s geographic location and interest. HearHere has just raised $3.2 million to continue its business growth and expansion.
Another celebrity joining the travel industry is Jennifer Lopez, who just joined Virgin Voyages as an investor and Chief entertainment and lifestyle officer. The cruise company plans to go global this year with homeports in Miami, Barcelona and Athens.
TravelX launched in 2021 and has been working on a blockchain-based solution to create a more frictionless industry, to tokenize inventory and develop new ways of distribution. The startup has just raised $10 million and are still planning to announce its first service later this year. Well, we are curious…
Much has been said about how the pandemic changed how we work, and business travel is a big part of this. American Express has just published a white paper on the topic: Why Business Travel is the Center of the New Company Culture. My thoughts about it? Nothing replaces in-person meetings.
Travelzoo has announced they are creating a metaverse division in the company. Although they will continue to offer their usual travel and lifestyle deals, the new service will provide members with exclusive metaverse travel experiences. Travelzoo counts on the annual membership fees to fund the new business division.
As Russia continues to attack Ukrainian cities, visiting the countries neighboring the conflict is something that travelers might still avoid due to its geopolitical tension. Deutsche Welle published an interesting piece questioning if the war has replaced the pandemic as a vacation constraint in Europe. Oh, just when we thought things were just about to get better post-covid.
There has been some significant movement on startups focusing on camping and campers since the pandemic started in 2020, specially in Europe. Reflecting this trend, the Swedish-based Acamp raised funds a couple of weeks ago, and now has just acquired Ställpatser, a popular camping community app. The acquisition will make it easier for campers to find and book campsites as well as connecting with hosts and other campers.
Volocopter has been a strong player when it comes to urban air mobility and bringing electric air taxis to the skies of key cities around the world, such as Singapore, Rome and Paris. The German startup has just announced a new investment round of US$170 million, which will be used to assist with the certification process and to start achieving commercial launch in first cities. I am looking forward to see it happening!
Travelzoo has just acquired the Spanish business unit of Secret Escapes. This deal adds 1.5 million subscribers to their travel and leisure deals service, strengthening their brand and business in Spain.
It’s always good to see travel startup founders on stage. This year’s EU-Startups Summit will count on some big names when it comes to innovators in the travel industry: Jochen Engert (Flixbus), Avi Meir (Travelperk), and Naren Shaam (Omio) will be sharing insights about their journey founding and leading their business. Exciting! By the way, the application phase for their big Pitch Competition will end next week. So founders: you’re still on time to submit your applications – but you better hurry 🙂
Seamless guest payments – this is what Mews will now add to their fintech offers to hotels with the acquisition of Bizzon. The team has been working on tech solutions that aim to help hospitality businesses connect and modernize the guest experience.
On the International Women’s Day wave: I really enjoyed going through this piece from from Condé Nast Traveller. It brings some great insights into what feminism in travel should look like.
A global sportswear brand is now launching their own hotel in Shanghai’s Business Center. It seems to be the first time that a sports brand unites with a lifestyle experience in the form of a hotel – we like it!
The conflict in Ukraine has been the main topic on my newsfeed these days, so it feels weird (to say the least) to not bring it forward in this newsletter – but I decided to keep it on-topic. Here is an overview brought by CNN on how the travel industry is responding to the Russian invasion. Additionally, Flexport shared an analysis on how it will impact the global air freight market: rerouting, transit times, and increased carbon emissions.
In a joint interview, investor Jan-Frederik Valentin and founder Florian Montag, talk about blockchain, traveltech, the combination of both, the future of traveltech in Europe and the challenges and opportunities for the industry moving forward. Really good read for everyone wondering if blockchain will disrupt the travel industry.
With sustainability being one of the main driving forces in travel this year, TravelPerk has just launched its own carbon reduction tool. GreenPerk API lets their customers measure their carbon footprint when traveling and help them build strategies to reduce emissions. For those committed to travel sustainably, TravelPerk just made it easier to keep that promise – at least when it comes to business travel.
Singapore Airlines started a partnership to upcycle their business class seats, carts and other elements by turning them into household items. The prices are not as affordable as one might think – and I am personally wondering who is ready to set this up in their living room.
The travel unicorn TripActions just announced their third acquisition in the last nine months. The American company took over the Swedish-based travel management company Resia (which has been operating for more than 50 years), and now supports almost 9,000 businesses around the globe.
More on acquisitions: focusing on their airlines partnerships, Hopper is buying Smoss, a Paris-based airline merchandising and customer care platform. The entire team will join Hopper and will work to expand adoption of Hopper Cloud among airlines.
Uber has added a feature called Uber Explore, making it possible for users to book experiences such as dinners and live concerts. This brings them closer to becoming a super app: an app that offers a wide range of products and services for their users.
Swiss Airlines have announced they will be the first airline to use its solar aviation fuel. Yes, you read it right: fuel made of sunlight. Pretty good alternative to fossil fuels, if you ask me.