Tourism Startups

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Tourism Startup Companies

Tastemakers Africa, Evaneos, Klook, Tripactions and TourRadar are five additional travel startups. The details of each company are outlined below.

Tastemakers Africa

  • Tastemakers Africa allows travelers to book authentic African tours and activities hosted by a variety of local hosts and influencers, including musicians, chefs, artists and creatives.
  • The startup was founded in 2016 and has raised $2.4 million in two rounds of funding. They raised $980,000 in their first round of seed funding and $1.4 million in their second round.
  • Tastemakers has not made their revenue available publicly.

Evaneos

  • Evaneos helps travelers to book custom trips and tours in partnership with local travel agents. The company boasts a 97% satisfaction rate across the 300,000 travelers it has served thus far.
  • The company was founded in 2009 has raised $109.1 million in 6 rounds of funding. Their most recent funding round was series D, which raised $80 million.
  • Evaneos has not made its revenue public.

Klook

  • Klook is an online activity and experience booking platform. They offer discounted bookings for activities in many destinations, mostly in Asia.
  • Klook was founded in 2014 and has raised $521.5 million in 6 funding rounds. There most recent funding round, series D, raised $225 million.
  • Klook had $1 billion in revenue in 2018.

Tripactions

  • Tripactions is a travel booking and management platform specifically focused on corporate and business travel.
  • Tripactions was founded in 2015 and has raised $481.5 million in 6 funding rounds. Their most recent funding round, series D, raised $250 million.
  • Tripactions has not released its revenue publicly and recently declined a request by Techcrunch for this information.

TourRadar

  • TourRadar is an online travel agency focused on booking multi-day tours for travelers throughout the world.
  • The company was founded in 2010 and has raised $66.5 million across 5 funding rounds. Their most recent funding round, series C, raised $50 million.
  • TourRadar has not made its revenue public.

Research Strategy

The research team searched through articles and reports on successful or up-and-coming travel startups to identify companies that meet the criteria for this request. We identified the five companies listed above, then gathered the requested information on each. We were able to identify all the requested information except the revenue, which was only found for Klook. In order to try to find revenue for each company, we started by searching through the company's website for annual reports or press releases sharing financial information. This strategy proved unsuccessful for all five companies. We then searched through third party business insights websites, such as Crunchbase, to find the revenue information. While funding amounts and rounds were listed for each company, revenue was not. Finally, we looked for news stories about the companies that might share revenue information. This final strategy proved successful for Klook. However, revenue information was not found for the other four companies. This is likely due to the companies being private and therefore not obligated to release this info.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Insights and Trends - Tourism Technology Space: Impacting Tourism Startups

Three current trends in the tourism technology space that would impact traction and investments in tourism startups are virtual/augmented reality, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence.

Three Currents Trends in Tourism Tech

1. Virtual/Augmented Reality

  • Virtual/augmented reality is a current trend in the tourism tech space that would impact traction and investments in tourism startups. Virtual reality and augmented reality are terms that are sometimes used interchangeably, which is why we grouped them together as one current trend (though we also discuss each separately within this section for added detail).
  • The basic difference between virtual and augmented reality is that virtual reality replaces a "real-world environment" while augmented reality uses digital components to overlay a "real-world environment."
  • Virtual/augmented reality enables travelers to tour hotel rooms and explore different types of activities within an area prior to booking a trip, while booking a trip, or after booking but before visiting a destination. This technology allows travel-related companies to "produce an immersive experience" to consumers, which creates a very strong marketing tactic as it can influence consumers' decision-making about their trips before they even arrive.
  • This video shows a few cool ways that virtual/augmented reality can be used in the tourism space.
  • Virtual/augmented reality is a tourism tech trend because it was expressly described as such by multiple industry sources, including being listed among " Eight Technology Trends to Watch Out for in the Travel and Tourism Industry in 2019" by Hotel Online and accounting for two of the "2019 Travel Tech Trends" listed by Simpleview.

A. Virtual Reality Specifically

  • With regard to virtual reality specifically, its usage within tourism has been increasing.
  • An interesting use of virtual reality is that it can be used by people who aren't able to travel.
  • Among people who are looking to travel, virtual reality is especially influential when consumers are researching for their trips, as the technology enables them to explore various attractions and hotels prior to booking.
  • In addition to the visuals provided through virtual reality, some companies also include other types of effects like wind to further add to the virtual experience.
  • As an example of the revenue potential of virtual reality within tourism, British travel agency Thomas Cook Group used "Samsung Gear VR to showcase their destinations around the world [which] generated a 40% return on investment [for the company] within the first [three] months."
  • Ascape is a startup leaning in the virtual reality trend specifically within tourism.

2. Augmented Reality Specifically

  • With regard to augmented reality, tourism industry source Simpleview stated that "huge advances are expected in 2019, from 3D hotel room views to gaming apps in destinations. "
  • Augmented reality usually costs less than virtual reality because a tablet or phone that has internet access is all that's needed to use it.
  • As an example of how augmented reality is being used in tourism, "the Hub Hotel from Premier Inn uses wall maps in its rooms which, when viewed through a smartphone, include local places of interest."
  • Flippargo is a startup leaning into the augmented reality trend specifically within tourism.

2. Internet of Things

  • The Internet of Things (IoT) is a current trend in the tourism tech space that would impact traction and investments in tourism startups.
  • The IoT allows the tourism industry to provide more personalized and efficient experiences/services to travelers.
  • A good definition of IoT is that it "involves the interconnectivity of devices, systems and processes."
  • With IoT, a hotel guest can use his/her smartphone "to adjust their room temperature and lighting, control their TV and check into their rooms."
  • IoT can also be used in airports for travelers to get directions to their departure gates and receive notifications about their flights in real-time.
  • IoT can be used by destinations (hotels and attractions) through "sensors . . . that collect data on the habits of travelers and their reactions to attractions to optimize the experience."
  • The following statement from industry source Hotel Online provides an excellent overview of the possibilities inherent in the IoT within tourism: "Linking appliances in hotel rooms through the Internet of Things adds a rare level of customization for guests. From lost luggage to managing the thermostat, IoT meets the specific desires of visitors. Stored data of guests' preferences and implementation of their likes and dislikes can dramatically alter customer satisfaction."
  • The IoT is a tourism tech trend because it was expressly described as such by multiple industry sources, including being listed among " Eight Technology Trends to Watch Out for in the Travel and Tourism Industry in 2019" by Hotel Online and seven "2019 Travel Tech Trends" by Simpleview.
  • Roxy Device is a startup leaning into the IoT trend specifically for hotels, as the company "creates intelligent, speech-enabled devices for hotels."

3. Artificial Intelligence

  • Artificial intelligence is a current trend in the tourism tech space that would impact traction and investments in tourism startups.
  • Global tech company DataArt stated that the progression of artificial intelligence within tourism is expected to skyrocket in 2019.
  • DataArt expected new applications of artificial intelligence within tourism "to arrive at an increasingly rapid pace in 2019."
  • Industry source Simpleview observed that "[t]he adoption of Artificial Intelligence . . . [is] set to rise during 2019 as more brands see it as a route to improved customer service and reduced costs."
  • Three key uses of artificial intelligence without tourism are reducing the extent of human resources needed, improving services provided to customers, and lowering expenses.
  • Chatbots are a popular example of artificial intelligence being used within tourism, as attractions, airlines, and hotels use them to provide immediate answers to travelers'/visitors' questions.
  • Another example of artificial intelligence usage within tourism is that it can provide guests with personalized suggestions at a hotel without needing to talk to someone such as the concierge.
  • Artificial intelligence is a tourism tech trend because it was expressly described as such by multiple industry sources, including being listed among " Eight Technology Trends to Watch Out for in the Travel and Tourism Industry in 2019" by Hotel Online, Simpleview's seven "2019 Travel Tech Trends," and DataArt's "Top 5 travel and hospitality tech trends for 2019."
  • Startups that are leaning into the AI trend within tourism include Mezi, Pana, and Lola Travel.

Research Strategy

To identify three current trends in the tourism tech space that would impact traction and investments in tourism startups, we reviewed a compilation of articles pertaining to that specific topic. Examples of the reputable, industry sources we consulted were Hotel Online, Simpleview, and DataArt. We ensured that each trend is indeed a current trend by finding each specifically described as such by at least two reputable sources. Those articles that we found provided excellent information about each trend. We then looked for examples of startups that are leaning into each trend. The sources we used for that were articles published by sources such as BuiltInSeattle and PhocusWire. We believe that each trend we included would impact traction and investments in tourism startups due to how pervasive each trend is within the tourism industry.
Sources
Sources