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Travel seed funding this week


Everyone got sick on the road. Both business travelers and vacationers know the hassle of trying to find a doctor in a strange city, and many of us know that we end up in strange little doctor’s offices that have dodgy photos. famous patients on the wall (yes, it really happened) because our hotels had agreements with said doctors, and about missing the chance to drive a venture capitalist’s Tesla Roadster while they were exotic (that too) because this same fever forced us to cancel.

Now a Miami-based startup called Track says it can make everything better

The brainchild of 36-year-old former pharmaceutical executive Josh Rome, Runway aims to be the Roman or Hims of travel medicine, doing for travel diarrhea, motion sickness and malaria what previous startups have done. in the field of erectile dysfunction and hair restoration. The idea: Let travelers schedule an online consultation on common issues before they go and get pre-trip medication delivered so travelers can be prepared.

The company just raised $1.5 million in pre-seed venture capital from investors led by Pareto Holdings, a business incubator led by Shutterstock founder Jon Oringer.

The travel health market is a $12 billion-a-year industry, Rome said, now served by brick-and-mortar chains, the largest of which is Passport Health, and small local doctor’s offices. According to different estimates, he said, up to half of visitors from developing countries develop an illness that Runway is prepared to treat. “Getting sick while traveling is more common than you might think,” he said.

And he would know: The idea for Runway crystallized when Rowe himself fell ill in Mexico City during the Covid pandemic. He had to deal with language issues and use medications that weren’t made in a US Food and Drug Administration-approved facility, he said. “I will never travel again without an antibiotic for travel diarrhea,” he said.

Runway’s advantage over companies like Roman and Hims is that it will be able to market through tour operators and other partners, spending less than the cost of direct-to-consumer marketing that powers household names, Rowe said. The breakthrough will come — if it does — when Rowe can convince major online travel agencies to work with him, he said.

“My North Star for the next 12 months is to grow our network,” he said. “One goal is to get to OTAs. If we could position our link next to the button to buy travel insurance, that would be great.

Attraction verification

Imagine you are a hotel manager trying to solve three related problems, after Covid (or during persistent Covid): customers don’t like a long check-in and price spikes, the hotel needs to increase revenue by selling additional customers on local products. attractions and room upgrades, and management doesn’t have the staff to resolve either of the first two.

israeli startup down raised a $10 million Series A round from a group led by the billionaire Ofer family, through its venture capital investment vehicle XT Hi-Tech, for technology it says will help the three .

The idea is a “guest management platform”, techspeak for a white label app that allows hotels to streamline check-in by providing contracts, arranging a fixed price taxi in advance and allowing customers to scan their passports in advance; sell room upgrades and in-hotel services, from restaurants to pre-arrival massages, and personalize the advice concierges give on what to do nearby, tailoring recommendations to business travelers, romantic couples or families on vacation. The app also allows hotels to solicit guest feedback before departure, to resolve issues before guests leave negative reviews online, he said.

“Our pillars improve guest happiness and enable hotels to do more with less staff,” said Adir Ron, chief marketing officer of Duve. “Hotels are not going to disappear [because of Covid-related staffing shortages]. They will become more digital. But they still need to provide personalized service.

Research suggests Duve is onto something. A report from Oracle Hospitality and Skift Research said 73% of customers are more likely to choose hotels that offer automated self-service options like these. And attraction marketing has been a great cross-selling opportunity for hotels, airlines and travel agencies.

The company has refined its approach in Israel and Europe, Ron said. The venture capital money will fund its expansion into the United States, where Duve has 100 hotel customers. One of the goals is to expand support operations to better serve western US time zones, he said.

Short-term goals include doubling the company’s staff to about 50 people and securing major contracts in at least three US states, Ron said.

The target market is primarily boutique hotels, as the company believes many hotel chains will get similar technology from their brands, Ron said.

Other offerings announced recently include:

>>>Borrow a boatwhich bills itself as the UK’s leading yacht charter and boat charter market, said it raised more than £1million in a crowdfunding round which opened on May 30.

>>>Smeetz, a Swiss startup whose software service enables attractions to implement dynamic AI-powered pricing plans, said on May 31 that it had raised a Series A venture round of 4 million, led by Zurich-based Privilege Ventures. The money will fund expansion into the United States, the company said.

Skift Cheat Sheet

Seed capital is the money used to start a business, often led by angel investors and friends or family.

A-Series funding usually comes from venture capitalists. The cycle aims to help startup founders ensure that their product is something customers actually want to buy.

B-series funding is mostly for venture capitalists that help a business grow faster. These fundraisers can help recruit skilled workers and develop profitable marketing.

C-Series financing generally consists of helping a company to grow, for example through acquisitions. In addition to VCs, hedge funds, investment banks, and private equity firms often participate.

D-Series, And, beyond These mostly mature companies and the funding cycle can help a company prepare to go public or be acquired. Various types of private investors could participate.