Top 10 Travel Startups to Watch in 2019

When Airbnb was founded in 2008, few industry professionals thought that the company was anything more than a flash-in-the-pan. Now, 10 years later, Airbnb has transformed the travel and hospitality sector and redefined how an entire generation approaches travel. 

Airbnb redefined “hospitality” within the overall travel experience while challenging the traditional hotel and lodging experience. So how can big corporations avoid getting “Airbnb-ed” in the future?

Don’t get “Airbnb-ed” by the next travel & hospitality unicorn

While some travel players go it alone like Marriott or Disney, others recognize the value of joining established innovation ecosystems. Jumping into a network where partners, entrepreneurs, Venture Capital Investors, and high energy events catalyze new thinking and opportunities helps overcome the corporate inertia that stifles innovation.

The travel startups you should be watching

Corporates that want to stay ahead of the market must keep a close eye on which startups are gaining market traction – both directly within and adjacent to the travel and hospitality industries. Similarly, early-stage startups should look to the disruptors in the space for inspiration and insights into what it takes to be successful. Here are 10 startups making waves and getting big investor valuations: 

  • Klook: Klook is Asia's largest in-destination travel services booking platform. It has raised a total of $296.5M in funding over 5 rounds.
  • Traveloka: Traveloka is reinforcing the Thai market with three strategies as part of plans to become a leading online travel agency (OTA) in Southeast Asia.
  • Adara: Adara works with the world’s largest airlines, hotels and rental car companies to fuel their personalized messaging and relevant offers by stitching together millions of unique traveler profiles and proprietary travel data globally. 
  • Away: Away is a travel accessories brand selling high-end smart luggage direct to consumers for a low price. It recently raised another $50 million to drive growth.
  • TripActions: TripActions is a corporate travel management company which recently raised $154 million in VC funding at a $1 billion valuation.
  • GoEuro: GoEuro is a multi-mode search tool that enables travelers to compares and book rail, air and bus to anywhere in Europe with one simple search, in one place on mobile, app or desktop. They just raised a new $150 million funding round. 
  • TravelPerk: TravelPerk helps businesses manage travel for free. They have raised over $70 million in VC funding.
  • Evaneos: Evaneos is a web platform helping travelers design, estimate the cost, and book personalized multi-day trips by connecting them with local agents. This French startup recently closed a $80 million round.
  • Hopper: Hopper is a mobile-only travel app which uses AI to analyze billions of prices daily to predict how prices will change and tells you whether to buy or wait. It recently raised $100 million in funding and is valued at $780 million. 
  • OYO: India’s largest hospitality startup which operates a network of budget hotels. The company was founded in 2013 by 18-year-old Ritesh Agarwal and has now raised more than $1.5 billion from the likes of Sequoia Capital and Softbank. 

Innovation in travel is happening. Don’t be left behind.

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