Startups seem to be the norm today in all the industries. Why should the hotel and travel industry hold back? Here in this post, we have listed some of the best hotel and travel startups.
There’s no question that hospitality is a mammoth industry, raking in trillions of US dollars each year. As you might expect with any industry of such enormous revenue scale, newer and fresher companies make a foray into the sector every year.
Innovation and creativity have taken over in the current knowledge economy and young entrepreneurs are taking the market by storm including the hospitality industry. This has been true more than ever after the COVID-19 Pandemic.
A lot of these startups are backed by reputed venture capitalists while a lot of new ones are bootstrapping to make a mark in the startup arena.
Lots of budding entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry have started to move from traditional full-time jobs to taking up freelance jobs to work on their entrepreneurial projects.
Here are 18 excellent hotel and travel startups that are taking the hotel and travel industry by storm.
We have included a mix of existing, funded and seasoned startups as well as new hospitality startups. Let’s begin.
According to the Crunchbase website, a total of 890 exciting hospitality and travel startups are taking the industry by storm. More and more entrepreneurs are coming up with exciting startups in the various hospitality sectors.
It is an extremely difficult task to rank startups and thus we will avoid numbering them. Some of these travel startups are mammoth-sized while various others are conceptual beauty.
From profit-making and highly funded startups of the hospitality world to the newbies which are extremely creative, we have tried to include a lot of them here.
This is one of the most talked-about travel startups in India and around the world. OYO has received investments amounting to over $400 million in 8 rounds.
Speaking about its growth, OYO Rooms, according to the facts provided by Wikipedia, is India’s largest and World’s 3rd largest leased hotel rooms and homes provider. This is in terms of the number count of rooms.
It also has a presence in over 80 countries including the United States of America, China, the United Kingdom, various Middle Eastern countries and a lot of European and South-East Asian countries.
This Gurugram, India-based travel startup is backed by SoftBank Group, Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed India and others.
This startup by Ritesh Agarwal has been seeking to pioneer the budget hotel segment ever since it was established in 2012. In less than a decade and after various funding rounds, it has definitely come out to be one of the best hotel and travel startups. After suffering a huge setback in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, expect it to bounce back in style in 2023-2024.
If things go as planned, it is set to stay on every travel startup list for a few years before it goes public.
Total Money Raised so far- $26 Million
This exciting startup has it all that requires hotel managers to connect with their workforce and manage them.
The beekeeper coordinates with other task management services.
Its seamless integration with Expedia’s Alice and Amadeus’s service optimisation software is a definite plus.
When hotel managers are spoilt for options for hotel management software, a startup focusing on workers across all categories in a hotel establishment is certainly the need of the hour.
Total Money Raised- $36 Million
This niche-based travel startup was started by Digvijay Pratap and Geet Bhalla in Dubai in the year 2013.
Starting as a customised travel solution, Holidayme has evolved to become a niche travel expert for the Middle East Area. With 8000+ hotels and hundreds of activities to choose from, travellers can experience the Middle East in its true delight.
This hospitality venture aims to use technology in more effective ways to offer better customisation to all users for a better travel experience.
We loved the concept and the growth this startup is experiencing makes it evident that this concept is set to stay in the coming years.
This Hospitality recruitment startup has been taking big strides in the hospitality recruitment market ever since its inception in 2011.
The growth mode of Hosco is in turbo mode as of now making it one of the hottest hospitality recruitment startups.
Total Money raised so far- $15 Million
Total database- In excess of 1.7 Million
Hotel employers in-network- 5000+
Location- Europe (Spain, Switzerland and other locations)
Hospitality Schools in-network- 500+
Total Investment raised- $30 Million+
AvantStay is a technology-based rental platform for group travellers.
It has recently raised $20 million in a financing round led by 3L Capital. A lot of other venture capitalists participated and showed interest in this extremely exciting hospitality startup as quoted by the Los Angeles Business Journal. AvantStay aims to innovate for better group travel.
The startup already has 150+ properties and has recently partnered with Marriott to expand big in 10 other US markets.
We just can’t wait to see what Airbnb has to say about the rapid growth of AvantStay.
Zomato (Now Public)
The current round investment according to data quoted in an article on Entrepreneur blog is a whopping $200 Million.
This food delivery app started as a feedback website for restaurants. Ever since its inception in 2008, it has raised over $400 Million in various funding rounds.
Currently, Zomato has a huge consumer base and a partnering restaurant list. It has also started its operation in various other countries to become one of the most exciting food delivery startups competing with giants like Uber Eat.
The Denver, US-based travel tech startup has seen a change of fortunes in September 2019. Yes, at the time of this update, the founders of this exciting travel startup must be celebrating their success.
After bootstrapping for 4 years, Hotel Engine has raised $16 Million in series A round.
With 300% year-on-year growth in the past 4 years, it is not surprising that the team and promoters of this startup are bracing themselves for bigger and more exciting challenges in the coming years.
This travel startup that focuses on making business travel more comfortable and convenient will look to improve its technology, reach and team in the coming years.
The business travel industry is a booming sector and using technological innovation, Hotel Engine is set to solve a lot of problems that business owners and business travellers face. This startup is sure to make it big in 2023 and 2024 once the hospitality industry bounces back out of the COVID-19 pandemic-induced slump.
Though it was founded in 2015, TipGenie’s startup fever has spilled over to 2023, causing much excitement across the board.
It’s essentially a cashless tipping platform with a cue of efficiency, convenience, and transparency to it.
It makes tipping easy and convenient. With this startup, you have all the more reasons to tip if you find the service good.
It not only restricts you to cashless tipping but also is a great place to say thank you or leave your valuable feedback.
It takes tipping up a notch with its ingenious feature that enables users to submit feedback about their experience on the fly.
In essence, the app targets a growing lot of Millennials who outspend baby boomers when it comes to leisure and travel.
On the whole, TipGenie clinches the trophy for the best travel startups in the guest feedback and tipping category.
With an undisclosed amount of funding in 2016, this AI-based hospitality startup from the tech capital of India, Bengaluru has been garnering a lot of interest.
Overall it is expected to have raised in excess of $250,000 so far.
Chatbots are definitely trending in hospitality and this travel startup expects to make it big with its Artificial Intelligence backed products and services.
It is said to be an Amazon Prime for Hotel Booking.
This travel industry startup is well-funded and set to provide an exclusive booking experience to all its premium members.
As mobile apps gain more and more traction as the mainstay feature in hospitality-related businesses, we are yet to see more startups geared towards this niche.
But, Hotelcloud, a pioneer in this sector, promises to design and develop individually branded apps for the hotel and travel industry.
They have a custom-designed app to suit all hotel businesses.
Made for guests and establishments this sure takes user experience and comfort to a new level altogether.
Due to the numerous features, it can have at your fingertips.
According to their website, they are a startup looking to build “e-concierge business apps” and have already partnered with over 45,000 players in the travel marketplace.
Here’s yet another flight deals app that offers a new and exciting approach to landing cheaper air tickets.
In fact, it promises to make the booking, reservation, and payment of flights effortlessly easy.
The app ingrains an ingenious software that continuously collects, monitors, and analyzes flight data from sound sources to let you know when it is just right to book a flight, from which airport to take off, and when scintillating promotions and deals are available.
In all seriousness, this could be your ultimate friend when finding absolutely the cheapest deals.
This travel-based startup has raised over $40 Million in its funding rounds.
Collective Retreat is an excellent startup from Colorado, Denver. Its focus is on luxury travel and creates an unparalleled experience by selecting off-beat locations with a greater focus on experiential travel.
Hotelogix can’t be said to be a new startup as it has been a great brand name in the hospitality industry as far as hotel industry software is concerned.
However, this well-established Hospitality startup continues to grow and raise more funds to challenge its competitors globally.
This Noida, India-based startup has clients from all over the globe.
This is another one of the exciting travel startups. The idea is as unique and fresh as its name.
Moreover, we are all excited to hear about a startup if it’s related to food. So this is for all those people who travel a lot and are diehard foodies.
We have all been there – being in a foreign country restaurant that offers mouthwatering delicacies but the menu is in a local language.
Now, would you miss to taste the local delicacies? But, can you risk eating monkey brain thinking of it as a local pasta?
This is where Sensafood comes into play as one of the most innovative travel startups of 2016.
This clever app will help you with all the translations, including those of the reviews.
So go ahead and flaunt your local knowledge with this all-new fresh app of the travel startup Sensafood.
It is a Chinese-based travel information startup which has already raised $19 Million in funding.
This hospitality startup was a hot cake in 2018 and shows promise in 2023 as well as it provides electronic kiosks, audio guides and apps to help travellers.
Keep an eye on this startup as it’s backed by several prominent investors.
This rental car-based travel startup is funded by Delta Partners.
It is an exciting startup because it aims to effectively use Artificial intelligence in pushing only the right offers to its users.
Among the best travel startups in San Francisco stands out HotelsByDay.
As you might expect, it’s always hard to book a hotel during odd hours especially by day to just kick back and relax for a few hours.
HotelsByDay looks to help both guests and hotels by allowing booking in such unique hours.
While this was the list of a few of the best hotel and travel startups, we aim to keep adding to the list should we stumble upon other exciting startups in the hospitality arena.
These are some exciting firms that are trying to come up with innovation in the hospitality industry. We have tried to make this list a good mix and we will keep trying to add to this list to make it more exciting and comprehensive.
We salute creativity and all we can do is to wish them luck for working relentlessly for our very own hospitality industry.