6 European travel startups to keep an eye on in 2019
Innovation in the travel and hospitality industry is really happening and all the industry leaders should not be left behind. Global tourism is considered to be one of the most valuable industries, worth some $7 trillion.
The online travel market, in particular, is expected to grow to $817 billion by 2020. As a result, VCs are hunting for tech-enabled startups poised to dominate that slice.
As Europe’s travel tech sector forges a new path, we decided to have a look at six travel tech startups we should all keep an eye on in 2019.
Omio (formerly, GoEuro)
Berlin-based Omio is a multi-mode search tool that compares and combines rail, air, bus, and car for European destinations. GoEuro announced a few months ago the change of its name. Its new ambition is to go global, scaling beyond its regional grounding to tackle the challenge of intercity travel internationally — hence needing a more expansive brand name.
Founded in 2014 by serial entrepreneur Stephan Uhrenbacher, Flio set out to make the most out of the time you spend at airports. Flio is free and shows you live flight info, gives you insider tips, connects you to Wi-Fi, shows you maps of each airport, lets you pin your flights on a globe so you can keep track of where you’ve been, and more. You can share your tips and advice, too.
Founded in 2015 in Amsterdam by Kasper Middelkoop and Kristian Valk, Hotelchamp offers smart technology for hoteliers to boost direct revenue and build guest relations. Focused on enhancing guest engagement and delivering a personalised booking experience, Hotelchamp offers a suite of conversion tools (powered by AI and machine learning technologies) to incentivise online customers, while promoting a more sustainable future in which hotels have more control and are less dependent on third parties.
I Like Local
With its headquarters based in Netherlands, I Like Local is an impact travel marketplace that connects travelers with local people in developing countries in order to to provide authentic experiences to travelers and an extra source of income for local hosts. Recently, Booking.com announced that this startup is among those that joined the 2019 Booking Booster Program in Amsterdam that was completed a few days ago.
Launched in 2015, Barcelona-based TravelPerk (winner of the Scale Startup Competition at the TNW Conference in Amsterdam in May 2017) allows individuals and companies to book and manage business travel. “If you’re stuck in Berlin with all flights cancelled, we’ll find a flight to bring you back home,” says co-founder Avi Meir, who sold his previous startup Hotel Ninjas to Booking.com. Javier Suarez and Ron Levin complete the founders’ team. Among TravelPerk’s top features, it has tools such as centralized invoicing, simplified itinerary emails and expenses integration to deliver a one-stop shop service to users.
London-based Stasher is building what calls an ‘Airbnb for luggage’. More specifically, it’s a platform for short-term luggage storage; users can browse nearby vetted shops and hotels and then book to store luggage with them (fully insured). The company is currently live in over 100 cities around the world and works in partnership with famous brands like Premier Inn, Hotels.com and Accor Hotels. We should not omit to mention that Stasher’s Co-founder, Anthony Collias, is from Greece. As CCO of the company, he leads the growth of the supply and demand of the marketplace.