Hi there,

Welcome back to your bi-weekly dose of data-driven Travel and Mobility Tech intel.

Today, we've got an exclusive research analysis on traveler's willingness to pay for sustainable air travel, a mapping of the 20 most-funded startups in Germany, and an overview of the hidden side effects of the coronavirus on our sector.

Today's newsletter specs: 1,005 words with 4 minutes of reading time.

Lennart Dobravsky
Director Research & Intelligence, Lufthansa Innovation Hub


Travelers don't walk the green talk

Every day, we’re seeing more studies and press articles covering the topic of sustainability in the travel context.

However, most of these articles tend to look into a single topic only: the growing awareness in people’s minds surrounding “greener” travel. While many of these studies found out that people say they want to travel more sustainably, they don’t offer concrete numbers on how travelers’ words translate into action.

Our research uncovers this glaring gap

We ran an in-depth user analysis together with price-prediction mobile app Hopper to learn more about whether travelers’ intentions to travel greener translate into concrete action. 

The results are shocking. People don't put their money where their mouth is.

However, not only the traveler is to blame for this. Airlines and travel providers are equally responsible for better steering passengers towards greener travel behavior. We'll tell you how to do this!

Read the full article via a click below.

Germany's 20 most-funded startups

Germany’s Travel and Mobility Tech startup ecosystem has been extremely vibrant in the first nine weeks of 2020. 

Major VC fundings took place, such as:
  • Berlin-headquartered Tier Mobility augmenting its Series B funding round to more than $100 million with additional equity and debt funding
  • Air-taxi venture Volocopter extending its series C funding by another $40 million, taking the total round to about $94 million
  • Hospitality startup Limehome securing $22.5 million to expand its hotel platform across Europe
  • Travel management startup Lanes & Planes raising an estimated $10 million from Battery Ventures
At the same time, consolidation in the German market has intensified, especially in the urban mobility segment of New Transportation – something we, and many others, had previously projected

Two highlights illustrating the consolidating forces in our sector:
  • Berlin-based kick-scooter startup Circ being acquired by American powerhouse Bird
  • TIER using some of its funding dollars to acquire assets from Coup, the now-defunct scooter service previously owned by Bosch
All these moves have reshuffled the map of the 20 most-funded Travel and Mobility Tech startups in Germany. Take a look at the up-to-date overview:

More hidden side effects of the coronavirus

In our newsletter edition two weeks ago, we talked about some of the hidden effects of the coronavirus outbreak on the Travel and Mobility Tech sector. 

One thing we learned from looking at app download figures, especially in China: major video conferencing apps surge in popularity as thousands of people have been working remotely from home in the last couple of weeks with technology substituting face-to-face business meetings.
We are wondering if this is only a short-term trend or whether video conferencing is finally reaching the technology's long-awaited tipping point. As VC mastermind Fred Wilson put it this week:

"Maybe attending a meeting in person is a thing of that past and video'ing is our future."
Whether this will turn out to be true or not, airlines and other travel providers should certainly pay close attention. Business travel might face a radical transformation none of us had expected to see coming that fast.

People's lives are moving online

Whatever may be the case, not only video conferencing is experiencing a sudden peak in interest due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Reading this week's news, it feels like much of people's physical lives are rapidly "moving" online. In China, this has led to several server crashes already as remote workers, online students and bored people overwhelm apps, games and streaming sites as
Abacus reports.

Here are a couple of more interesting side effects to think about as they might be part of a bigger story:
  • Peloton – the American home-exercise equipment company – enjoys a rising stock price as analysts suggest that the outbreak could actually drive sales for the company as people avoid public places (see here)
  • Schools in Hong Kong are experimenting with interactive educational experience for homebound students (see here)
  • Business conferences, such as Salesforce's upcoming Sidney show change from in-person events to online-only ones (see here)
  • Interest in private-jet travel for the ultra-rich grows in demand as airlines cancel more flights to China (see here)
  • Coronavirus has temporarily reduced Chinas CO2 emissions by a quarter (see here)
We conclude: the business impact of the coronavirus is much more multifaceted than we all expected. It's (rightfully) the biggest story in the world right now and it's soon going to smash into many more industries and aspects of our lives in unpredictable ways.
 Press Picks 

Our recommended must reads 

UPGRADING ECONOMY CLASS  – Air New Zealand filed patent and trademark applications for the "Economy Skynest" – full-length lie-flat sleep pods to be installed in the Economy cabin.
 Read more on CNN
AV ROLL-OUT DELAYED  – China is postponing plans for massive autonomous vehicle (AV) deployment from its original target by five years as auto and tech companies continue to struggle with the challenges of truly driverless vehicle adoption.
 Read more on technode
GREENER AIRPLANE TRAVEL – A comprehensive 101 overview of what sustainable aviation fuel means for greener airplane travel.
 Read more in CNN
NO WEATHER DELAYS FOR UBER – Uber wants to use real-time weather data and forecasts from weather-tech company ClimaCell to hone its accuracy of ETAs and traffic prediction to perfection.
 Read more on Venture Beat
BIRD VENTURES INTO ONLINE PAYMENTS – The e-scooter company introduced Bird Pay which allows its users to pay with the app for items from participating businesses. This allows Bird to expand its model from solving the first and last mile to solving day-to-day activities.
 Read more on Yahoo
STARTUP RANKING – VC powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz published their marketplace 100, a ranking of the largest and fastest-growing consumer-facing marketplace startups and private companies including a handful of travel and transportation startups that are worth taking a deeper look at.
 Read more on a16z
 Funding Update 

Most recent Venture Capital deals

 = Exit Alert (startup listed at the stock exchange or got acquired)

 = Unicorn Alert (post-deal company valuation at >$1B) 

 Grab – the Southeast Asia-based ride-hailing super app raised $856M from Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) and TIS Inc. GrabWheel, its new mobility arm, raised $30M from KYMCO. – the Silicon Valley-based autonomous driving startup raised $500M from Toyota Motor Group. 

Volocopter – the German electrical vertical take-off and landing aircraft developer raised another $40M to its series C funding from DB Schenker, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, TransLink Capital, and further investors. 

Tier Mobility – the Berlin-based e-scooter rental startup raised another $40M to its Series B funding from Moscow’s RTP Global,  Novator, and further investors. 

Blue Bird – the Indonesian taxi company raised $30M in a 4.3% share purchase from Gojek. 

Limehome – the Munich-based short-term rental management startup raised $23M from Lakestar, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, and Picus Capital. 

PredictHQ – the New Zealand-based event data intelligence startup raised $22M from Sutter Hill Ventures and other existing investors. 

Vogo – the Bengaluru-based two-wheeler rental startup raised $19.1M from Lightstone Fund, Matrix Partners and Kalaari Capital. 

Socar – the Malaysian car-sharing startup raised $18M from Eugene Private Equity and KH Energy. 

RailYatri – the Indian rail and bus travel booking startup raised $13.8M from Infosys Co-founder Nandan Nilekani, Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, and further investors. 

Ayenda – the Latin American hotel chain raised $8.7M from Kaszek Ventures, Irelandia Aviation, and further investors. 

Hopin – the London-based online live event platform raised $6.5M from Accel, Web Summit’s Amaranthine Fund, Slack Fund, and further investors. 

Ion Electric – the Southeast Asia-based electric two-wheeler startup raised $3M from Monk’s Hill Ventures. 

Go2Joy Vietnam – the Vietnam-based hotel booking startup that allows users to book by hours raised $2.5M from STIC Ventures, Wonik Investment Partners, and further investors. 

 Halo Cars – the US-based startup that allows rideshare drivers monetize through rooftop advertising was acquired by Lyft for an undisclosed amount. 

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