4 Travel Startups to Watch in 2020

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Disposable income around the globe is rising, playing out positively for the travel industry. The online travel market is the main beneficiary of this trend with future compound annual growth rates estimated at over 13% for the coming years.

The ease of accessibility and convenience that online portals offer customers is one of the main selling points for the industry’s growth. The increasing ease and security of online payments is another factor that is benefiting e-commerce in general.

Travel startups are breaking new ground with innovative solutions. Here are four promising tech companies that are disrupting the market in their segments. 

Bus.com

Bus.com screenshot

Bus.com is a Canadian based company founded in 2014. The company was formerly known as Sharethebus until it rebranded to Bus.com after a $5 million venture investment in 2017.

The company aims at streamlining the process of chartering buses in a $4 billion market that has a lot of untapped potential.

Bus.com’s charter bus rental app offers a platform that makes chartering a bus as easy as booking a flight. Apart from helping groups and individuals easily charter buses, the platform has a professional charter service that offers complete transport and logistics packages to event managers or tourism agencies. There is also a professional service team to support customers with more complex itineraries.

There has always been a demand for chartered buses, but the market was not well organized; Bus.com is tackling the problem and providing a unified, online platform that customers and bus companies can benefit from. Investors have rewarded the company’s initiative with a $14.7 million series B funding earlier this year, it seems they are on the right track.

Seatfrog

Seatfrog screenshot

Seatfrog is a Sydney based company founded in 2014, with offices in London and Tokyo. The company has managed to raise $8 million in venture capital investment so far.

According to Seatfrog more than 480 million premium seats travel empty on European trains every year and 37 million across the top 30 airlines.

The Seatfrog app gives travelers the opportunity to bid for these empty seats shortly before departure. This is giving passengers extra value and the transport companies extra revenue.

Seatfrog’s main partners are English rail companies now but I am sure we will hear more from them in the future. 

bookingkit

bookingkit screenshot

Bookingkit is a Berlin based company founded in 2014. It has recently received a Series C Funding Round but is tightlipped about exactly how much. A mid-single-digit million-euro amount, to quote their press release.

Bookingkit is one of Europe’s leading SaaS providers for touristic activities and attractions, if not the leading provider. The company is continuously investing in new products and expanding into new markets. Despite being a young startup, still expanding in Europe, bookingkit and has managed to be profitable in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

With the likes of TripAdvisor and GetYourGuide as customers, bookingkit will have less problems convincing new companies to prescribe to their service. It is safe to say that bookingkit is a force to reckon with.

Wheels up

Wheels Up screenshot

WHEELS UP is a New York based private aviation company founded in 2013. Although Wheels up is not an every-man’s startup, the company is showing remarkable growth and attracting investors. The company is evaluated at over $1.1 billion and just recently managed to raise another $128 million.

Wheels up is a membership based private aviation company; it is something like an Uber for private jets but for members only. The concept might seem a little extravagant at first but for people who fly a lot, or those who already own private jets, it makes a lot of sense.

There are three types of membership: Connect for those who do not mind sharing a flight, Core for those who prefer to fly private and Business for corporations.

Startups usually strive to reduce hassle, costs and give value to their customers; this is exactly what Wheels up is offering its clientele. Satisfied customers are always good for business.