Travel Startup Cities

Talent, capital and opportunities are no longer concentrated in the usual suspects. This trend will accelerate in a world with an increasingly distributed workforce.

AOL founder Steve Case often refers to the Rise of the Rest, a new era for entrepreneurship across the US in which high-growth companies can start and scale anywhere, not just in a few coastal cities. This is clearly happening on a global scale as well, as this post reflects.

This analysis is based on 878 travel and mobility startups that have raised fundraising rounds between early 2018 and Feb 2021. I will look first at their geographic distribution and then take a closer look at five countries: USA, UK, Germany, Spain, and France.

1. Distribution of the 878 travel and mobility startups

Europe: 316 startups
USA + Canada: 275
Asia + Australia: 218
Middle East: 30
Latin America: 25
Africa: 13

2. Top travel startup countries 

3. Top travel startup cities

4. Top travel startup cities in the USA + Canada

San Francisco: 45 startups
New York: 34
Los Angeles: 16
Toronto: 10
Austin: 9
Atlanta: 7
Boston: 6

5. Top travel startup cities in Europe 

London: 60 startups
Paris: 21
Berlin: 20
Barcelona: 17
Amsterdam: 11
Madrid | Munich: 8
Dublin: 7

6. Top travel startup cities in Asia

Tokyo: 20 startups
Singapore: 16
Taipei: 13
Beijing: 12
Bangalore: 11
Gurgaon | Seoul | Shanghai: 10
New Delhi: 8

7. Top travel startup cities in Latin America + Australia + Middle East + Africa

Tel Aviv: 11 startups
Dubai: 6
Sydney | Sao Paulo: 5
Mexico City: 4
Melbourne: 3

8. Zoom on 5 countries

USA (248 startups)

Top cities
(see section 4 in this post)

Top investors
- Plug and Play | Y Combinator: 11 startups
- JetBlue Technology Ventures: 10 
- 500 STartups | Thayer Ventures: 8

Most frequent rounds
- Seed: 82
- Unspecified: 29
- Pre-Seed: 25

UK (77 startups)

Top cities
- London: 56 startups
- Manchester: 3
- Bristol: 2

Top investors
- Crowdcube: 11 startups
- SFC Capital: 4

Most frequent rounds
- Seed: 20
- Crowdfunding | Pre-seed: 12
- Series A: 8

Germany (39 startups)

Top cities
- Berlin: 20 startups
- Munich: 8

Top investors
- Battery Ventures | DN Capital | HV Capital | IBB Ventures | Lakestar | Monkfish Equity: 3 startups

Most frequent rounds
- Seed: 8
- Unspecified: 7
- Pre-Seed: 6

Spain (38 startups)

Top cities
- Barcelona: 17 startups
- Madrid: 8
- Valencia: 6
- Other: 7

Top investors
-
Lanzadera: 5 startups
- Axon Partners Group | Caixa Capital Risc | Faraday Venture Partners | K Fund | Nekko Capital: 3

Most frequent rounds
- Seed: 9
- Unspecified: 8
- Grant: 5

France (28 startups)

Top cities
- Paris: 21 startups
(no other city with more than 1)

Top investors
- Kima Ventures: 3 startups
- Angelsquare | Index Ventures: 2

Most frequent rounds
- Seed: 9 
- Series A: 7
- Pre-Seed: 5


As I mentioned in the introduction, I think that the current trends will favor a continuing decentralization of entrepreneurship. This applies particularly to the travel sector. Even though we see travel and mobility startups all over the world, there are large regions that are still under-represented. If we take the universe of startups in the country analysis, and look at how it compares with the weight that the country has in world GDP and world population, it is clear that we still have lots of challenges, opportunities and upside still ahead.

We know the talent is evenly distributed but opportunity is not. The vast majority of venture capital funding is concentrated in just a handful of cities and states which means the wealth and opportunity created by the innovation economy are not shared proportionately with regions outside tech hubs. — Steve Case