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Top 10 Travel and Tourism Startups of Europe

Top 10 Travel and Tourism Startups of Europe
Top 10 Travel and Tourism Startups of Europe

The Covid-19 pandemic came as a big jolt to the travel and tourism sector. Many countries had gone under lockdown for months, which put a halt on travel of any kind. According to the European Travel Commission, “In the first four months of 2020, Europe has seen a 44% decline in international tourist arrivals compared to last year. Revenue losses during the first half of 2020 for hotels, restaurants, tour operators, long-distance train operators and airlines were roughly 85-90%.” According to the UN’s World Tourism Organization, 27 million people are employed in the European continent under the tourism sector, which comprises 10% of its GDP.

Looking at the bright side, there has been a boom in domestic and local travel in Europe and across the world. According to GlobalData figures, International departures from Europe’s G7 countries are presumed to drop by 40% in 2020, which is a much steeper drop than domestic trips, which is to be 25%. This difference indicates that many of the international travellers are now giving preference to travel domestically instead. Many countries including Albania, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Iceland etc have opened up their borders for travel. Surprisingly, many travel and tourism startups are raising funds even though the virus still prevails. 

Here is a list of top 10 travel and tourism startups of Europe:

1. GetYourGuide


It is a booking agency to travel across the globe. They have an easy-to-operate website and app through which people can plan and book their destination with ease. The company has more than 600 employees working across 16 offices around the world.

Founding Year: 2009

Headquarters: Berlin, Germany

Founders: Jochen Mattes, Johannes Reck, Martin Sieber, Pascal Mathis, Tao Tao and Tobias Rein

Total Funding: US$ 789.6M

Last Round of investment: €114M (About US$ 136M), Convertible Note

Investors: Searchlight Capital Partners, SoftBank Vision Fund, Spark Capital, NGP Capital, Lakestar and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts

2. Omio


It is a multimodal travel booking platform based on Europe and was formerly known as GoEuro. The company offers travel by train, bus or flight. Omio has employees from over 45 countries and speaks a variety of languages.

Founding Year: 2012

Headquarters: Berlin, Germany

Founders: Naren Shaam

Total Funding: US$ 396M

Last Round of investment: US$ 100M, Venture Capital

Investors: Temasek Holdings, New Enterprise Associates, Kleiner Perkins, Kinnevik AB and Goldman Sachs Asset Management

3. Lilium


It is a startup based in Munich developing an on-demand “air taxi” service. The five-seater all-electric Lilium Jet takes off vertically and then transitions to horizontal flight and functions similar to a conventional aeroplane. The company also claims to have completed its first manufacturing facility and is looking forward to building the second factory in preparation for a 2025 commercial launch.

Founding Year: 2015

Headquarters: Bayern, Germany

Founders: Daniel Wiegand, Matthias Meiner, Patrick Nathen and Sebastian Born

Total Funding: US$ 376.4M

Last Round of investment: $35M, Venture capital

Investors: Baillie Gifford

4. Selina


It is a booking platform which offers to stay, travel, and work abroad indefinitely. They provide various authentic activities and experiences in over 60 destinations worldwide. The company presently operates in 24 urban, beach, jungle and mountain-side locations throughout eight countries.

Founding Year: 2012

Headquarters: London, England

Founders: Daniel Rudasevski, Or Bokobza and Rafael Museri

Total Funding: US$ 345M

Last Round of investment: US$ 100M, Series C

Investors: Access Industries, Colony Latam Partners and Grupo Wiese

5. SecretEscapes


The company negotiates exclusive rates for luxury hand-picked hotels and holidays in the UK and abroad. It is an exclusive members-only travel club that offers its members huge discounts and great deals on hand-picked luxury hotels and holidays. The company has more than 75 million members worldwide and a huge social media following and found everywhere from Spain to the US, from Sweden to Italy, Poland and Norway, from Germany to Switzerland.

Founding Year: 2010

Headquarters: London, England

Founders: Alex Saint, Tom Valentine and Troy Collins

Total Funding: US$ 249.2M

Last Round of investment: £52M (about US$ 69M), Venture Capital

Investors: Merian Global Investors

6. Skyscanner


It is a travel startup which gives the options across flights, hotels and car hire to book the trip. They were once an online flight search engine and made their way to being a globally known travel platform. The company offers quick booking available in more than 30 languages.

Founding Year: 2003

Headquarters: Edinburgh

Founders: Barry Smith, Bonamy Grimes and Gareth Williams

Total Funding: US$ 197.2M

Last Round of investment: US$ 192M, Venture Capital

Investors: Yahoo! Japan, Vitruvian Partners, Khazanah Nasional, Baillie Gifford and Artemis

7. HomeToGo 


It is a German-based vacation rental search engine. They have a compilation of the most renowned providers of vacation rentals in their portfolio. The company allows you to compare prices for rentals from more than 2000 providers in over 200 countries.

Founding Year: 2014

Headquarters: Berlin, Germany

Founders: Nils Regge, Patrick Andrae and Wolfgang Heigl

Total Funding: US$ 176.7M

Last Round of investment: US$ 150M, Venture Capital

Investors: Princeville Global, Lakestar, Insight Partners, Global Founders Capital, DN Capital and Acton Capital

8. TravelPerk


It is a business travel solution company which provides flexible experience in business travel. They offer a 7-star standard of service via chat, email and phone. Their agents are available 24/7 in more than 30 languages. They also offer a feature called FlexiPerk where the traveller can cancel the trip for any reason and give a full refund.

Founding Year: 2015

Headquarters: Barcelona, Spain

Founders: Avi Meir, Javier Suarez and Ron Levin

Total Funding: US$ 133.2M

Last Round of investment: US$ 53M, Series C

Investors: DST Global, Felix Capital, Heartcore Capital, Kinnevik AB, Latitude and Target Global

9. Evaneos 


It is the world’s first online platform that offers travellers the freedom to customize trips according to their needs and can directly get in touch with a local travel agent in the destination. When a traveller books directly with local service providers, they only have to pay for the services they book.

Founding Year: 2009 

Headquarters: Paris, France

Founders: Eric La Bonnardiere and Yvan Wibaux

Total Funding: US$ 109.1M

Last Round of investment: US$ 80M, Series D

Investors: Partech and Level Equity Management

10. Tiqets 


It is a Dutch-based startup which links travellers with instant, last-minute, mobile tickets to museums and other attractions all over the world. It has sold over 12million of tickets in more than 60 countries to date. They also offer a free cancellation option on all tickets.

Founding Year: 2013

Headquarters: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Founders: Christiaan Solcer, Luuc Elzinga, Maarten Raaijmakers, Marijn Speelman and Robert Westers

Total Funding: US$ 105.5M

Last Round of investment: US$ 60M, Series C

Investors: Airbnb, HPE Growth and Investion

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