Travel Startup Funding This Week – Skift

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Each week we round up travel startups that have recently received or announced funding. Please email Senior Travel Tech Editor Sean O’Neill at so@skift.com when you have news about financing.

This week travel startups announced more than $ 25 million in funding opportunities.

>>RVezy, a peer-to-peer marketplace for RV and campervan rentals in North America, has raised approximately $ 19 million (Canadian $ 23 million).

Investor Markus Frind, founder of the online dating app Plenty of Fish, has completed the venture financing through the family office Frind Properties. Michelle Romanow, starring CBC’s Dragon’s Den and co-founder of Clearco, made a small seed capital investment after the founder appeared on the TV show.

The Ottawa-based company and 54 employees started in 2017 with a focus on Canada. It expanded into the US a year ago and now has nearly 10,000 American RV owners listed there. The company faces competition from Outdoorsy and RVshare, which are better funded startups.

Since late February, RVezy has consistently exceeded $ 1 million in weekly bookings. The Globe and Mail first reported on the fundraising.

>>Collect, a Riyadh-based startup helping travelers book short-term alternative accommodation rentals, has raised $ 6 million (22 million Saudi riyals) under Series A funding.

The Saudi venture capital company STV led the round. Vision Ventures, 500 startups, Saudi businessman Naef Sultan AlAthel and ARG Limited also took part. Arab News first reported on the round.

Founded in 2017 by co-founder and CEO Latifa Altamimi, the company is the first to be licensed to offer these rentals online. It offers an Airbnb-like selection of accommodations in more than 100 destinations in Saudi Arabia.

“When you become a host on our platform, simply list your villa, apartment, farm, caravan, room, chalet, camp or yacht, which can give you a significant additional income,” said Altamimi.

Funding comes after a year of record breaking domestic leisure travel in the kingdom. It also comes when Saudi Arabia formed a new destination management company, liberalized the visa application process (see “Saudi Arabia’s New Tourism Frontier Explained”), and began massively supporting online travel companies while also raising a $ 530 million fund US dollars for the development of major travel destinations.

>>Towing hitch, which offers long haul and city carpooling, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed investment from Lombardstreet Ventures.

Hitch connects drivers and drivers traveling to the same city, similar to Europe’s well-funded startup BlaBlaCar.

The startup also recently launched a premium service that allows users to book private rides within 80 miles of its Texas destination network every day, and has experimented with offering a shipping and delivery service.

Founded in Austin by CEO Kush Singh, Hitch aims to expand beyond its Texas network.

Skift cheat sheet:
We define a startup as a company founded to test and build a repeatable and scalable business model. Few companies meet this definition. The rare ones that often attract venture capital. Your financing rounds come in waves.

Seed capital is money used to start a business that is often run by angel investors and friends or family.

Series A Financing is usually provided by venture capitalists. The aim of the round is to help the founders of a startup ensure that their product is really bought by customers.

Series B Funding is mostly about venture capital firms that help a company grow faster. These rounds of fundraising can help in recruiting skilled workers and developing cost-effective marketing.

Series C. Funding is usually about helping a company expand, for example through acquisitions. In addition to VCs, hedge funds, investment banks and private equity firms often take part.

Series D, E and beyond These mostly mature companies and the round of funding can help a company prepare for an IPO or acquisition. A variety of types of private investors can participate.

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Photo Credit: A motorhome rented through RVezy. RVezy

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