In an increasingly mobile world, consumers are turning to the convenience of using their smartphones to book travel, lodging and transportation, and travel tech startups that make the experience simpler and more accessible continue to attract investors.
As TechCrunch reported today, “investments in this new dimension of travel startups have increased as companies like HotelTonight and GetYourGuide expand the options for on-demand traveling.” And venture capital firms are still investing in companies that offer consumers better ways to travel using their devices and despite the popularity of travel booking sites like Kayak, TripAdvisor and Expedia:
Beyond the travel search and booking platforms, companies providing services for travelers are also emerging more rapidly than ever. Healthcare app TraveDoc just announced plans to expand to the Middle East and South Asia to connect travelers to nearby (and English-speaking) physicians. Private plane ride-sharing service FlyteNow, worldwide fishing charter booking platform Fishfishme, and on-demand yacht chartering service Sailogy all raised new rounds in the beginning of 2014.
Ben Holmes of Index Ventures told TechCrunch that mobile is changing the landscape: “More broadly consumers are wanting and expecting to be able to use their mobile phones as a remote control for their life… and travel is part of that.” Likewise, Atlas Venture’s Jeff Fagnan said, “The major driver is how easy it is; the device factor has changed travel in itself.”
Also from TechCrunch:
Instead of using the “desktop” model to search for and book flights, hotels, and activities months in advance of a trip, consumers can now book a next-day flight with reward points, reserve a room on HotelTonight upon landing at the airport, and request a car to the hotel via the regional Uber clone. And when traveling in a foreign place without any plans, Trippifi will show nearby friends, GetYourGuide will find tours or activities to book and WorldMate will let tourists organize it all in one place.
According to CrunchBase data, investors have funded travel-related startups in over 40 different countries since 2009, including emerging markets — where travel is one of the first categories to monetize online.
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*image credit: tableau