Travel & Mobility Tech Newsletter

Dear Readers

The past two weeks in Travel & Mobility Tech have been quite busy. We have witnessed more Venture Capital investments in startups along the travel journey than during any other two-week-window of 2018 so far. As always, we have listed all 39 deals (!) at the bottom of our newsletter.

The past two weeks have also been very special for our hometown Berlin: the local Travel & Mobility Tech ecosystem has produced its first-ever unicorn (startup with a company valuation of >$1 billion) and the second out of Germany after FlixBus. Find out more below. Enjoy!

Lennart Dobravsky
Trend & Market Research Analyst 
Trend Radar

The Unicorn Club is Growing

It has been raining unicorns in 2018! At the beginning of the year, we counted 22 startups in the Travel & Mobility Tech context that had reached a company valuation of at least 1 billion US dollars. This number has grown to 34 as of today, a jaw-dropping 55% increase.

Check out all 12 Travel & Mobility Tech startups that have reached the unicorn status in 2018 so far:

 Youxia Motors  
Unicorn since March 2018 | Manufacturer of smart electric vehicles

Unicorn since June 2018 | Operator of a bike sharing platform

 Faraday Future
Unicorn since June 2018 | Manufacturer of electric and autonomous vehicles

Unicorn since May 2018 | Developer of a mobile-based taxi booking platform

Unicorn since June 2018 | Developer of an e-scooter sharing platform

Unicorn since July 2018 | Developer of a bike and e-scooter sharing platform

Unicorn since Aug. 2018 | Developer of electric and autonomous vehicles

Unicorn since Aug. 2018 | Developer of a travel tours and activities booking platform

 OYO Rooms
Unicorn since Sept. 2018 | Operator of a branded network of hotels

Unicorn since Nov. 2018 | Operator of smartphone rental services for hotel rooms

Unicorn since Nov. 2018 | Developer of a corporate travel management platform

Unicorn since Nov. 2018 | Planning and booking platform for transportation services

Startup Radar

Berlin's First Unicorn in Travel & Mobility

The latest member of the prestigious unicorn club comes from our hometown Berlin. 

GoEuro, a pioneer of so-called intermodal mobility platforms, is on a mission to consolidate the patchwork of European travel providers and make the numerous travel alternatives directly bookable through their app and website.  
This hidden champion reached the billion-dollar-badge quietly as part of its $150 million Series D funding round a couple of weeks ago. 
 Check out our analysis of GoEuro
Web Radar

On The Verge of Supersonic Flying 

Half a dozen startups are gambling on the return of supersonic air travel. Technological advancements, new aviation laws, and a growing investor appetite could help speed that comeback.

We have been watching the supersonic air travel hype closely. Yet alongside all the excitement, some important questions remain: 

  • Will it be affordable or only for the ultra rich?
  • What about the environment?
  • And why does anyone need to go that fast? 
Watch this fascinating mini-documentary (7 min) by The Verge for a deep-dive into some of these questions. 

 Watch on The Verge 

The State of Tech in 20 Minutes

Usually, our recommended reads and video bites focus on the Travel & Mobility Tech sector, but this more general piece is just too good to miss out on.

Andreessen Horowitz’ Benedict Evans walks through where we are now in software eating the world and how things may continue to change over the next 10 years.

What’s the state of not just “the world of tech”, but tech in the world? His major finding: Most of the people are now online, but most of the money is still not.

 Read more on Ben Evans blog

Press Radar

Our Recommended Must Reads 

UBER LAUNCHES LOYALTY PROGRAM – Uber hasn’t taken to the skies yet, but the ride-hail company is already offering a frequent flyer-style rewards program for riders. The program, which has launched in nine cities, lets ride-hailing customers earn perks like cheaper fares, better customer support, and priority pickups at airports.
 Read more in The Verge
SECRET ESCAPES SNATCHES UP TRAVELBIRD – Only two weeks after Amsterdam-based TravelBird filed for insolvency, its assets were acquired by Secret Escapes, a competing travel booking platform with a luxury focus. It will receive the intellectual property, the IT platform, the Travelbird brand, the logos, and the customer base.
BIOMETRIC SECURITY TRIAL AT AIRPORT – Australian airline Qantas started trialling a pre-registration program at Brisbane Airport, enabling passengers to upload their passport details on their facial recognition app and pass through the airport’s biometric security gates only with a facial scan. 
 Read more in Passenger Terminal Today 
Funding Radar

Most Recent Venture Capital Deals

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

 Farelogix – a Miami-based provider of distribution technology and services for airlines has been acquired by Sabre for $360M.
Leap Motor – a Hangzhou-based manufacturer of electric vehicles raised $290M in funding led by Shanghai Electric.
 Destinations of the World – a Dubai-based provider of B2B bulk hotel room bookings has been acquired by WebJet for $173M.
 TripActions – the Palo Alto-based developer of an end-to-end travel management platform raised $154M in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Venture Partners, SGVC, and Zeev Ventures.
Sojern – a San Francisco-based provider of a travel technology platform raised $120M in funding from Technology Crossover Ventures and further undisclosed investors.
BlaBlaCar – a Paris-based long-distance carpooling service raised more than $117.6M in funding from Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français, Omnes Capital, Insight Venture Partners, and further investors.
 Grab – the Singaporean ride-hailing platform raised $50M in strategic funding from Thailand's Kasikornbank under an agreement to help launch the GrabPay electronic wallet in the country.
VOI Technology – a Swedish provider of e-kick-scooter rental services raised $50M in funding from Balderton Capital, LocalGlobe, Raine Ventures, and Vostok New Ventures.
MapAnything – an American provider of a geo-analytics and location intelligence platform raised $42.5M in funding from GM Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Harbert Growth Partners, Greycroft, and further investors.
 Spin – a San Francisco-based provider of e-kick-scooters has been acquired by Ford Motor Company for $40M.
Tiqets an Amsterdam-based developer of a ticketing platform raised $40M in funding from HPE Growth Capital and further undisclosed investors.
Aeye an American developer of robotic vision systems for autonomous vehicles raised $40M in funding from Taiwania Capital, Intel Capital, Airbus Ventures, Tyche Partners, and further undisclosed “multiple global automotive OEMs, Tier 1s, and Tier 2s".
Ridecell a San Francisco-based provider of a ride sharing platform raised further $32M in funding from Activate Capital, ERGO Corporate Venture Fund, LG Technology Ventures, BNP Paribas, and further investors.
Wind Mobility – a Berlin-based e-kick-scooter startup raised $22M in funding from Chinese Source Code Capital and HV Holtzbrinck Ventures.
AdaSky an Israeli developer of thermal sensing technology for autonomous vehicles raised $20M in funding from Sungwoo Hitech.
HolidayMe – a Dubai-based developer of an online holiday-booking platform raised $16M in funding from Gobi Partners, Algebra Ventures, Accel Partners, and Global Ventures.
Apex.AI – a Palo Alto-based developer of an operating system designed for self-driving vehicles raised $15.5M in funding from Canaan Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Quantela a San Francisco-based developer of a smart city and urban transportation platform raised $10M in funding from Digital Alpha.
Festicket – a London-based developer of an online booking platform raised $10.5M in funding from Beringea, InMotion Ventures, Channel Four Television, U-Start, and further investors.
Momentus – an American developer of propulsion technologies for in-space transportation raised $8.3M in funding from Prime Movers Lab of Jackson, Liquid 2 Ventures, One Way Ventures, Mountain Nazca, and Y Combinator.
AIRLOOK a Beijing-based provider of aeronautical data collection services raised $7.2M in funding from GGV Capital and Baidu Ventures.
Sono Motors – a Munich-based manufacturer of a battery powered electric vehicle raised $5.7M in funding from undisclosed investors.
 ParkWhiz – a Chicago-based parking logistics startup raised $5M in funding from Amazon’s Alexa Fund, Alate Partners, Chaifetz Group, and Purple Arch Ventures.
Hotelmize an Israeli provider of a platform intended to optimise hotel distribution raised $3.8M in funding from Investible.
RoadBotics – a Pittsburgh-based developer of software for transforming the management of roadways and other infrastructure raised $3.9M in funding from Hyperplane Venture Capital, Urban-Us, Urban-X, Radical Ventures, and further investors.
XpresSpa – a New-York-based provider of spa services and travel related products in airports raised $3M in funding from Wellness App Calm.
Noken – a New-York-based developer of a travel booking platform raised $2.5M in funding from Bessemer Venture Partners.
Busbud – a Montreal-based provider of an online ticket booking platform raised $2M in funding from undisclosed investors.
Park Here – a Munich-based developer of a system to find car parking areas raised more than $2.4M in funding from undisclosed investors.
Idelic – a Pittsburgh-based developer of a transportation analytics and data management platform raised $2M in funding from Bain Capital Ventures, TDF Ventures, SaaS Venture Capital, Birchmere Ventures, and M25 Group.
Sastaticket – a Pakistani online travel agency, raised $1.5M in funding from Gobi Partners, becoming the first Chinese venture capital firm to invest in the country.
Volt Lines – an Istanbul-based provider of a subscription-based transportation service raised over $1.2M in funding from Dubai Angel Investors, MEVP, and further private Investors.
Utrip – a Seattle-based developer of a travel planning platform raised $240K in funding from undisclosed investors.
KKday – the Taiwan-based provider of an online travel platform raised an undisclosed amount in funding from the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, CDIB Capital Group, Line Ventures, and Monk's Hill Ventures.
Wirelane a German developer of electric vehicle charging stations and software raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Vito Ventures and further undisclosed investors.
 TravelBird – an Amsterdam-based provider of an online travel platform has been acquired by Secret Escapes for an undisclosed amount after filing for insolvency at the beginning of November.
  Ouibus a French operator of transportation services has been acquired by BlablaCar for an undisclosed amount.
 HolidayTaxis Group – a UK transport distributor has been acquired by Hotelbeds for an undisclosed amount.
  REVVA a Spanish travel business intelligence startup has been acquired by TravelgateX for an undisclosed amount.

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