Travel & Mobility Tech Newsletter

Dear Readers

A busy week is slowly coming to an end for us: we just returned from Singapore where we celebrated the expansion of the Lufthansa Innovation Hub to Asia together with many new friends from the Southeast Asian tech ecosystem. 

Jet lag fully kicked in so we’ll keep today’s intro short and directly jump into the latest industry insights in Travel & Mobility Tech, derived by your favorite Market Intelligence Team. Enjoy.

Lennart Dobravsky
Trend & Market Research Analyst

Startup Radar

Airlines Increasingly Invest In Startups

The past two weeks have not only kept us busy with our Singapore office opening, we also entered into a strategic research alliance with Canadian price-prediction startup Hopper.

We supported our parent company in making a multi-million dollar investment into Hopper in order to establish a systematic, long-term partnership regarding predictive-analytics models and flight-demand forecasting.

But enough about ourselves.

Lufthansa is, by no means, the only airline which recently joined forces with promising and upcoming startups. In fact, about a dozen airlines and their respective venture capital arms have progressively invested in innovative startups from the Travel & Mobility Tech space, as the ranking of leading airlines based on the number of startup investments illustrates:
App Radar

The 10 Fastest Growing Travel & Mobility Apps – How Many Of Them Do You Know?

Together with our data partner App Annie, we assessed the dynamic world of travel apps and are able to provide you with an exclusive list of the 10 fastest-growing apps in travel and mobility from around the world – measured in terms of absolute downloads during 2018. 

Some of the apps you might be familiar with but others you probably hear for the first time. 

Here are the 10 fastest-growing travel and mobility apps on iOS:

And here the 10 fastest-growing travel and mobility apps on Android (Google Play):

There is a lot to unpack here, yet we aim to limit it to the top five insights:
  1. Asia rules. It is well known that smartphone adoption in Asia is unparalleled. The rankings are further proof of the extent to which mobile use in Asia is penetrating the Travel & Mobility Tech sector.
  2. What is Dida Chuxing? It's not a typo: we really mean Dida, not Didi. The iOS winner by a landslide in 2018 is ride-hailing giant Didi's major competitor. Dida has become the second largest on-demand transportation service in China, focusing on taxi-hailing and carpooling with a special edge.
  3. Train information, especially in India, is massively consumed via apps (see "Where is my Train", IRCTC and UTS). The fastest-growing of them all is "Where is my Train", which was acquired by Google at the end of last year.
  4. Scooters are on the rise, especially amongst iOS users (see Lime, Bird). We have heard a lot about massive investments flowing into e-scooter startups by venture capitalists last year, yet our iOS ranking shows that also consumers share the love for new modes of micro-mobility.
  5. No traditional travel providers, such as airlines, car rental services or hotels are present amongst the fastest-growing apps. Instead, both lists are full of startups. It seems more important than ever to take a close look at what disruptive startups are offering to travelers (and how they do it).
Web Radar

As Critics Warned: The E-Scooter Business Is Seasonal 

While e-scooter startups Lime and Bird made the list of the world's top 10 travel apps in 2018 (see above), it remains to be seen whether the e-scooter story really has a happy ending in the long run.

As recent data from Second Measure illustrates – based on a sample of credit card information collected by the analytics firm and published by The Information – people don’t want to ride scooters in the snow (what a surprise).

Wind, rain and snow quite obviously threaten to damp further rapid growth. The seasonality seems real.

About a third of Bird and Lime’s current markets suffer from snow or heavy rain which made both companies react as they have been shipping scooters from cold cities to others with higher temperatures, the Financial Times reports.
Trend Radar

Asia Continues To Dominate

Sorry, we have to bring it up again: we are pretty excited about our expansion to Asia and there is one last comment to be made on our rationale to look primarily eastwards for new innovation (while we certainly don't forget about Silicon Valley and other regions).

Our data on VC investments in Travel & Mobility Tech startups clearly illustrates that Asia has become the breeding ground for startups innovating along the travel chain.

Of the close to $44 billion invested in Travel & Mobility Tech around the globe in 2018 (read our previous newsletter for more details), Asian startups attracted close to 60% of venture capital deployed in this context.
Moreover, exactly half of all 34 unicorns in Travel & Mobility Tech are based in Asia:
But who are these global mega startups? Many of them are still relatively unknown in the Western world.

Take a look at the startup map below, outlining the 20 leading Asian startups (incl. all 17 unicorns) based on total venture capital received as of today:

Click to enlarge
Press Radar

Our Recommended Must Reads 

AIRLINE DISTRIBUTION IN 2030 – Four scenarios for the future of distribution which the airline industry could face as we leap into the third decade of the 2000s. Scenarios include a Google dominance, digital airlines having become mobility brands, and OTAs as well as meta searchers as content brokers. 
 Read more in PhocusWire
KLOOK RISES TO THE TOP – Hong Kong startup Klook has become the most-searched travel activities platform worldwide, according to Google Trends. Klook’s top position is demonstrative of the rapid pace at which tours and activities are coming online.
 Read more on WiT
BOEING FLIES AUTONOMOUS AIRCRAFT – Aurora Flight Sciences, a subsidiary of aerospace giant Boeing, conducted the first test flight of its all-electric autonomous passenger air vehicle. The unpiloted vehicle took off vertically, hovered for a few seconds, and then landed at the company’s test site in Manassas, Virginia.
 Read more in The Verge
Funding Radar

Most Recent Venture Capital Deals

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

Go-Jek – the Indonesian on-demand mobile platform for ride-hailing services raised $920M in funding from Google, Tencent, and with its plan to raise up to $2B.

Uplift – a California-based travel financing startup raised $123M in funding from Madrone Capital Partners, Draper Nexus, Ridge Ventures, Highgate Ventures, and further investors.

Flash – a Berlin-based provider of vehicles intended for advanced urban mobility (incl. scooters) raised $64.1M in funding from Target Mobility, Idinvest Partners, Signals Venture Capital, and undisclosed Angel investors.

SoCar – a South Korean operator of an online platform designed to offer peer-to-peer ridesharing raised $44M in funding from Altos Ventures, SoftBank Ventures Korea, KB Investment, and Stonebridge Ventures.

Wheels – an American provider of dockless electric mobility raised $37M in funding from Tenaya Capital, Bullpen Capital, Crosscut Ventures, 3L Capital, and other undisclosed investors. – a Vienna-based provider of a SaaS based digital roadside assistance platform raised $21M in funding from the Venture arms of BMW, Porsche, and Jaguar Land Rover. 

 NightStay – an Indian provider of a mobile-based marketplace designed to offer last-minute hotel bookings was acquired by payment and ecommerce firm Paytm for around $20M.

Onepark – a Paris-based developer of an online car parking application raised $17.5M in funding from AccorrHotels and other undisclosed investors. 

Alto – a Dallas-based on demand ride-sharing service raised $14.5M in funding from Road Ventures and Frog Ventures. 

Rapido – an Indian bike-taxi startup raised $10M in funding from Integrated Capital and further undisclosed investors.

Vogo – a Bangalore-based provider of an automated scooter sharing platform raised $8.9M in funding from Kalaari Capital, Matrix Partners, Stellaris Venture Partners, and Hero Group. 

Bounce (Metro Bikes) – a Bengalaru-based dockless bike-sharing startup raised $7M in funding from Sequoia India, Chiratae Ventures, Accel India, and ON Mauritius. 

Zoov – the Paris-based bike-sharing service raised $6.8M in funding from Daphni, C4 Ventures, Road Ventures, BNP Paribas Développement, and the Banque des Territoires. 

Itilite – a Bangalore-based developer of an online travel booking platform raised $4.2M in funding from Matrix Partners and further undisclosed private investors. 

Polarsteps – an Amsterdam-based developer of a travel tracking platform raised $3.5M in funding from Inkef Capital. 

Flyiin – a German airline distribution and booking startup raised $2.8M in funding from undisclosed angel investors. 

Ryde – a Singaporean ride-hailing startup raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Nomad X.

Recharge – a San Francisco-based developer of a hotel room booking platform raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Fifth Wall Ventures.

AirBoard – an American developer of an electric personal air vehicle raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Alchemist Accelerator.

 Flightright – a German provider of an online portal designed to deal with air passenger claims management was acquired by Intermedia Vermögensverwaltungs for an undisclosed amount.

 Deskeo – a Paris-based provider of fully equipped and flexible offices was acquired by Knotel for an undisclosed amount. 

 Gaest – a Denmark-based provider of online meeting spaces was acquired by Airbnb for an undisclosed amount. 


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