Vancouver-based traveltech startup Launchtrip announced in March 2021 that it has secured US$ 4.7M in a seed funding round led by Axis Capital Corporation Holdings. Other funding round participants include investors described as friends and family. This is Launchtrip’s first funding round.
The startup will use the freshly raised capital towards marketing, product development, and adding 30 people to its currently 20-person team.
About the startup
CEO Julian Ing founded the startup in 2018. The startup has designed a platform that aims to improve the group travel experience. The software enables users to complete the entire process of booking a trip, including accommodations, restaurant booking, transportation booking, and splitting costs upfront from one app.
The travel booking market is surrounded by multiple players such as Expedia, Booking.com, and Airbnb. Launchtrip sets itself apart with a focus on group travel.
In a statement, the startup said group travel has always been on the edge of the travel industry, so it requires an innovative company to solve this complex problem. In the past, booking apps have asked users to be a middleman. Now, they can book hotels, make restaurant reservations and purchase event tickets all within the Launchtrip app.
The app is set to launch in beta mode in the spring and will be made publicly available in the summer. By the time it launches, Launchtrip plans to provide an assortment of more than 200,000 hotels in seven launch cities across the United States, with plans to offer more in the coming months. American Express and Resy are Launchtrip’s official booking partners. They offer back-end management software for restaurant reservations.
As per another statement from the startup, Launchtrip started testing an early-stage product before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and was able to generate approximately US$ 1M in sales. When the pandemic struck, Launchtrip said it was forced to close its trial product and discover a sustainable path forward. It also stated that it retained 90 percent of its staff and now sits at 20 team members.
The founder says
The founder said that with every catalyst and problem, there comes growth. The pandemic gave them a podium that didn’t exist before. He added that consumers want travel to come back just as badly as the hospitality space. With travel coming to a near end, they took the opportunity to refine their product, build better strategies and bolster financing, he concluded.
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