Who is Investing in Travel Startups? 

A look at the the most active investors in travel companies around the world

(Updated Feb 13, 2021)

Last year, before the full outset of the Pandemic, I wrote an article titled Venture Capital in Travel Tech’’ which looked at the who, what, when and where behind the billions in financing flowing to travel startups. 

In this post, I will go into more detail in terms of who specifically has been investing in travel startups, based on close to 1000 funding transactions (including debt) from October 2018 to February 2021 using data aggregated from Crunchbase and from my personal research for my Travel Tech Essentialist newsletter. I am only including the most recent round for each startup transaction. So, if a VC invested in 3 different rounds of a startup in this period, I am only counting one (the latest) instead of 3. 

The motivation of this post is to help those travel entrepreneurs that are looking to raise money gain a bit more understanding of who the most active investors in the space currently are.

I am convinced that those travel companies that survived 2020/2021 by executing well through the toughest environment they will ever have to face, are very well positioned to excel and take off by the second half of 2021 as billions around the world start traveling again with the same enthusiasm and frenzy as they showed when buying toilet paper in early 2019. Many of the investors in this post will be handsomely compensated for the grit and resiliency shown by these travel entrepreneurs.

1. The top 10 most active travel investors in the world (946 investments and 1701 investors)

2. The top 10 most active travel investors in the USA (279 investments and 591 investors)

Y Combinator: 14 investments
Plug and Play: 11
JetBlue Technology Ventures 10
500 Startups: 8
Thayer Ventures: 8
Techstars: 7
Alumni Ventures Group: 5
NFX: 5
Tech Coast Angels: 5
Bessemer Venture Partners: 4
(There are 6 other investors with 4 investments)

Three of the top travel investments in the USA
Via: $200 million, March 2020, New York
Wheels Up: $128 million, August 2019, New York
Sojern: $120 million, November 2018, San Francisco

3. The top 10 most active travel investors in Europe (340 transactions and 606 investors)

Crowdcube: 15 investments
HOWZAT Partners: 8
Kima Ventures: 6
Lanzadera Accelerator: 6 investments
EASME: 5
Fil Rouge Capital: 5
Battery Ventures: 4
Intelak Hub: 4
MairDumont Ventures: 4
Portugal Ventures: 4
(There are a 3 other investors with 4 investments)

Three of the top travel investments in Europe
FlixBus: €500 million, July 2019, Munich
HomeToGo: $150 million, December 2018, Berlin
GetYourGuide: €114 million, October 2020, Berlin

4. The top 10 most active travel investors in Asia (211 transactions and 433 investors)

Taiwan Startup Stadium: 15 investments
500 Startups: 11
InnoVen Capital: 9
SOSV: 8
Chinaccelerator: 4
SAIF Partners: 4
Sequoia Capital China: 4
500 TukTuks: 3
Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund: 3
Artesian VC: 3
(there are 14 additional investors with 3 investments)

Three of the top travel investments in Asia Pacific
Chengjia: $300 million, September 2019, Shanghai
Traveloka: $250 million, July 2020, Jakarta
Mafengwo: $250 million, May 2019, Beijing

5. The top 7 most active travel investors in Latin America (25 transactions and 45 investors)

500 Startups: 5 investments
CORFO: 2
DOMO Invest: 2
SoftBank: 2
Start-Up Chile: 2
Kaszek Ventures: 2
Monashees: 2

Five of the top travel investments in Latin America
Viva Air: $50 million, May 2019, Colombia
Casai: $48 million, October 2020, Mexico City
Ayenda Hotels: $8.7 million, February 2020, Colombia
ViajaNet: $6.3 million, October 2020, Brazil
Rotamundos, $3 million, January 2020, Mexico

6. Top Seed and Pre-Seed round investors (395 transactions and 567 investors)

500 Startups: 15 investments
Y Combinator: 13
Techstars: 11
Fil Rouge Capital: 5
Intelak Hub: 5
Plug and Play: 5
SOSV: 4
NFX: 3
Jason Calcanis: 3
Hiventures: 3
(there are 3 additional investors with 3 investments)

Three of the top seed and pre-seed travel investments
Upgrade Pack: £6.5 million, January 2020, London
Cuddlynest: $6 million, October 2020, Orlando
COSI Hospitality: €5 million, August 2019, Berlin

7. Top Series A and Series B investors (173 transactions and 550 investors)

500 Startups: 8 investments
Plug and Play: 5
Global Brain Corporation: 4
SoftBank: 4
Y Combinator: 4
HOWZAT Partners: 4
Thayer Ventures: 4
Airbnb: 3
Andreessen Horowitz: 3
Jetblue Technology Ventures: 3

Three of the top travel investments in Series A and B rounds
Lyric: $160 million, April 2019, San Francisco
Pollen: $60 million, October 2019, London
Hipcamp: $57, January 2021, San Francisco

8. Top Series C, D, E, F, G investors (52 transactions and 224 investors)

InnoVen Capital: 3 investments
Spark Capital: 3
Accel: 2
Airbnb: 2
August Capital: 2
General Atlantic: 2
Thayer Ventures: 2
(there are 15 additional investors with 2 investments)

Top travel investments in Series C-G rounds
Hello TransTech: $581 million, December 2018, China, Series G
FlixBus: €500 million, July 2019, Munich, Series F
Mafengwo: $250 million, May 2019, Beijing, Series E
KLOOK: $200 million, Jan 2021, Hong Kong, Series E
Yanolja: $180 million, June 2019, South Korea, Series D
Sojern: $120 million, November 2018, San Francisco, Series D
Vacasa: $108 million, June 2020, Portland, Series D
Away: $100 million, May 2019, New York, Series D
Cloudbeds: $82 million, March 2020, San Diego, Series C
KKday: $75 million, September 20202, Taiwan, Series C
TravelPerk: €53 million, July 2019, Barcelona, Series C