Travel & Mobility Tech Newsletter

Dear Readers

Everyone is talking about the never-ending e-scooter saga these days. 
We took another detailed look at interesting data points out there to help us evaluate the performance of all four major operators on city level across Germany.

Of course, scooters are not the only hot topic in Travel & Mobility Tech this week. Lean back and swipe through everything you need to know. Enjoy.

Lennart Dobravsky – Director Research & Intelligence

Startup Radar

This Travel App Aims To Take On Instagram

eMarkerter recently concluded that American people (>18 years old) spend an average of 2 hours and 55 minutes on their phones every day. 1 hour and 15 minutes is spent on social media. While time spent on Facebook is shrinking compared to the previous year, Instagram is still growing. On average, the photo-sharing app is used for 26 minutes per day.

A startup that has fully addressed the mobile-social trend in the travel context is German-based Mapify. Since launching in November 2017, the app has helped hundreds of thousands of users to plan and share their travel destinations with others on their platform.

We took a closer look behind the curtains of this aspiring, soon-to-be Instagram for travelers.

 Read the full story on Medium
Job Radar

Take Our Insight Creation To The Next Level

In 2018, we started this newsletter as a fun side project. 16 months later and our content is read by literally 1,000s of subscribers every week. This makes us very proud and we want to serve you even better, so we’re looking to grow our team!

We’re hiring a (Junior) Research & Intelligence Analyst. If you know someone awesome who can help us crunch news-worthy data, create original insights and would love to write about fascinating startups and emerging trends in Travel & Mobility Tech, let them know about our job posting.

Trend Radar

Here Comes The Boom – Part II

In Germany, four highly-funded e-scooter companies are fiercely fighting for market shares and consumer attention. All of them are very active on social media claiming market leadership and milestone reached after milestone.

wo weeks ago, we published data-driven insights analyzing the first two weeks of e-scooter operations in Germany. Our findings got picked up by several media outlets, including Gruenderszene and Financial-Times backed Sifted.

This week, we dive deeper into interesting data perspectives that explain how the operators are performing across major cities in Germany.
 Read the full analysis on Medium
Web Radar

Hospitality Remains Hot – Leaked Pitch Deck By Category Leader Sonder Confirms This

We recently talked about the love hospitality startups have received from VC investors in 2019 so far. The top-10 VC deals in accommodation startups during the first four months of this year contained five triple-digit million-dollar investments as our infographic illustrates:
This romance has continued to develop over the past few weeks as total investments in hospitality startups have accumulated to almost $2 billion in 2019 (as of today). The latest deals include:
  • A $100M equity commitment in boutique hotel company Life House that both manages its own branded hotels and provides its technology platform as a white-label solution for independent hotel owners
  • $22.5M in funding going to Getaway – a provider of micro-cabin rentals
  • $15M allocated to Mint House which provides personalized accommodation
  • $10M injected into HostNFly that offers vacation rental services for hosts
  • $6M for GuestReady, a platform for short-term accommodation management 
Most importantly: Sonder, which announced a massive funding north of $200 million in April (see graphic above), officially closed this Series D round at precisely $225 million last week. Someone on the Sonder team got so excited that their pitch deck (intentionally) ended up online.

Check it out right here for 
background and details on the growing hospitality segment.
Airline Radar

The Airline Digital Index (ADiX)

Our Airline Digital Index (ADiX) continues with a new metric. In case you missed our previously published results, check out our past newsletter editions via the links below:

Today we take a closer look at the digital channel offering the highest growth potential in the future: the mobile app


Definition: The average time duration which users spent in the app per session in 2018 (indexed results).
As you can see above, results have been indexed, so we can feed them into our overall ADiX scores. We will publish final results at the end of the summer. Average time duration has been calculated via the total time spent in the app divided by the number of sessions over the same time period.

TAP, Latam and SAS have the shortest session times amongst the airlines analyzed. Well done!

How to interpret this metric?    

As with most metrics, there is room for interpretation. Session length is often considered a critical mobile app metric because it provides the baseline for user engagement ("the longer, the better"). Our view is contrary: in the airline context, shorter average session times are a good indicator for the seamlessness and speed of the main services offered by the app. 

Think about the primary reasons for using an airline app. Most of us, especially frequent travelers, use it to check-in or book flights. Other reasons might be to contact customer support or to check flight information. 

Assuming booking or checking-in are the two major use cases, we can argue that average time spent in-app is a proxy for the time it takes to check-in or book a flight through the app. The shorter this time, the quicker the process is likely to be. While speed is not the only element in defining a seamless process, it signals that redundant steps have been cut from the app and that response times tend to be fast. 

Hence, we believe that this metric indicates how good an airline is at making the life of travelers easier by effectively leveraging the core functionalities of the mobile channel.
Disclaimer: Airlines with more frequent flyers are likely to benefit as they tend to have more registered users, who can check-in or book flights faster than unregistered users (their personal information is already saved within the app). Furthermore, the way session time is measured in iOS and Android varies, as iOS considers a different end to an app session than Android. However, this only has a real impact when assessing absolute numbers, so the impact in our comparison is limited. 
Press Radar

Our Recommended Must Reads 

SCOOTER'S UNIT ECONOMICS – "Scooters are a terrible investment" vs. "Scooters are a great investment" – an ongoing debate that gained a lot of traction last week after Bird's CEO tweeted (self-reported) data points emphasizing his company's profitability levels.
 Read more in Crunchbase
PEOPLE IN JAPAN ARE RENTING CARS BUT NOT DRIVING THEM – Most people who spend money on car-sharing do so because they need to drive somewhere. But occasionally, a car is not a mode of travel, but an indoor space in a world where indoor spaces are increasingly privatized and inaccessible to many people.
 Read more in The Verge
BOOKING.COM ENTERS GROUND TRANSPORTATION – Tackling ground transportation is the next big thing in travel tech. If there is any proof needed, Booking is building £100 million ground transport HQ in Manchester.
 Read more in Eye for Travel
SPACE TRAVEL GOES PUBLIC  Virgin Galactic, the space tourism company founded by billionaire Richard Branson, is preparing to enter the stock market by the end of 2019, through a merger with an existing company.
 Read more on NPR
Funding Radar

Most Recent Venture Capital Deals

 = Exit Alert (Startup listed at stock exchange or acquired)
 = Unicorn Alert (post-deal company valuation at >$1B) 

 Hellobike the Chinese operator of a bike sharing platform raised $400M in funding from Ant Financial. 

 Turo an American provider of a peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace raised $250M in funding from IAC. 

 Sonder the US based provider of a peer-to-peer home rental platform raised $225M in Series D funding from Valor Equity Partners, Westcap Management, Tao Capital Partners, and further investors. 

Life House an American operator of a vertically integrated, modern lifestyle hotel management, development and technology company is expected to raise $100M in funding from Blue Flag Partners. 

Wind a German provider of e-scooter rental services raised $50M in funding from HV Holtzbrinck Ventures and Source Code Capital. 

Dott – a Dutch provider of e-scooter rental services raised $34M in Series A funding from Naspers Ventures, EQT Ventures, Axel Springer Digital Ventures, and further investors. 

Karem Aircraft – an American aerospace company intended to develop aircraft with vertical lift capabilities raised $25M in funding from Hanwha Systems and further undisclosed investors. 

Unifly – the Belgian developer of a cloud-based traffic management software platform built to offer safe integration of drones into the airspace raised $19M in funding from Deutsche Flugsicherung, Terra Motors, Qbic Fund, and further investors. 

Bestmile – a Swiss platform that manages autonomous and human-driven fleets raised $16.5M in funding from TransLink Capital and other undisclosed investors. 

Igloohome – the Singaporean developer of smart access technologies designed for homeowners to remotely manage their properties raised $15M in funding from Insignia Ventures Partners, Wavemaker Partners, Seeds Capital, and further investors. 

Zongmu Technologies – a Chinese developer of driving assistance technology raised $14.4M in funding from Qualcomm Ventures, Legend Capital, and Cantor Jungle. 

HostNFly – a French provider of rental services designed to encourage people to travel by optimizing the income they can derive from their housing raised $10.5M in funding from Highgate Ventures, Partech Partners, and Kerala Ventures. 

Emerging Travel Group – the Russian operator of various international hotel booking platforms for travel professionals raised $10M in funding from Lev Leviev, and the family office of Igor and Dmitri Bukhman. 

CozyCozy – the French developer of a search engine intended to compare and find accommodation raised $4.5M in funding from Daphni, CapDecisif Management, RAISE, and further investors. 

Travelstop – the Singaporean developer of an AI powered software-as-a-service platform for business travel raised $3M in funding from Accel. 

Weswap – an English currency exchange platform designed to help travellers around the world get a better deal on their travel money raised $2.9M in funding from Seedrs, a crowdfunding platform. 

Bounce – a a Bengalaru based dockless bike-sharing startup raised $1.5M in funding from BACQ. 

Curacity – an American developer of marketing technology and data analytics servicing the hospitality industry raised $125K in funding from Connecticut Innovations. 

 GOJEK – the Indonesian on-demand mobile platform for ride-hailing services raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Siam Commercial Bank. 

 Bolt – an Estonian ride-sharing platform raised an undisclosed amount in Series C funding from G Squared, NordicNinja VC and Spring Capital. 

 Grab – a Singaporean operator of an on-demand ride-hailing platform raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Experian as part of its ongoing Series H. 

StayPlease – a Hong Kong based hospitality tech platform used for operations and guest relations raised an undisclosed amount in Series A funding from MindWorks and further undisclosed investors. 

 LeCab – the French developer of an online ride-hailing platform was acquired by SnapCar for an undisclosed amount. 

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