Each week we round up travel startups that have recently received or announced funding. Please email Senior Travel Tech Editor Sean O’Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have funding news.
This week, travel startups announced more than $102 million in funding.
>>We also reported that TST Capital, an investment firm owned by Rajiv Trivedi, the former president of La Quinta Hotels, joined other investors in a $2 million seed round in Virdee, a virtual concierge service for hotels.
>>Busbud, a startup building software for selling intercity coach tickets, has closed an $11 million ($15 million Canadian) Series C round of financing
Canadian Business Growth Fund and Investissement Quebec led the round. New investors also include Export Development Canada, BDC Capital, and Singapore-based K3 Ventures The Montreal-based company has raised $30 million ($40 million Canadian) in funding to date.
Busbud helps 3,900 bus companies in 80 countries sell tickets online, mainly through its site and mobile app. The company, which has 50 employees, said its revenue growth is up 10 percent year-over-year despite the pandemic. It has been adding other forms of grand transportation, such as rail, carpooling, and car rentals.
>>GreenCloud, a maker of software systems for hotels, has raised about $14 million (100 million renminbi) in a Series C round of funding.
Trip.com Group’s venture firm Shanghai Kehui Venture Capital, tech firm RayCloud, and China Merchants Bank are among the startup’s many investors. The startup has raised more than $50 million in debt and equity financing since its founding in 2010.
GreenCloud, based in Hangzhou, China, provides property management software, customer relationship management software, and point-of-sale technology to about 18,000 hotels, including ones belonging to brands such as Wanda Hotel Group, Metropolo, Narada Hotel Group, and Podinns. It also offers services to help with the management of cultural tourism and model villages in China.
“After the successful round of financing, we will speed up the development of the four major business sectors and further focus on product innovation and service quality improvement,” said GreenCloud Chairman and CEO Mingkui Yang.
GreenCloud’s technology helps hotel manage reservations and room inventory. It also provides a booking engine for hotels to accept reservations on their websites and mobile apps and via the WeChat messaging app.
GreenCloud, which has about 400 workers, is also one of a few authorized distributors of Oracle Hospitality solutions and services in China. It has data integrations with Oracle Hospitality’s Opera property management system, for example. Shiji used to be Oracle Hospitality’s primary reseller in China, but that deal ended in June.
The company also offers operational software to cultural tourism resorts, ski resorts, and other attraction providers.
GreenCloud has domestic Chinese competitors such as Shiji, Bianhong, and Mengguang. For global context, subscribers can read How New Entrants Are Shaking Up the Hotel Property Management Space: New Skift Research.
Skift Cheat Sheet:
We define a startup as a company formed to test and build a repeatable and scalable business model. Few companies meet that definition. The rare ones that do often attract venture capital. Their funding rounds come in waves.
Seed capital is money used to start a business, often led by angel investors and friends or family.
Series A financing is typically drawn from venture capitalists. The round aims to help a startup’s founders make sure that their product is something that customers truly want to buy.
Series B financing is mainly about venture capitalist firms helping a company grow faster. These fundraising rounds can assist in recruiting skilled workers and developing cost-effective marketing.
Series C financing is ordinarily about helping a company expand, such as through acquisitions. In addition to VCs, hedge funds, investment banks, and private equity firms often participate.
Series D, E and beyond These mainly mature businesses and the funding round may help a company prepare to go public or be acquired. A variety of types of private investors might participate.
Photo Credit: White bus traveling on the asphalt road around line of trees at sunset. Adobe