Robots at the Airport

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Here is our weekly curation of the top news on travel innovation,

trends and startups:

  • Robots at the airport. Aeroporto di Roma has adopted a new fully autonomous delivery robot. This means air passengers can scan a QR code to purchase F&B and retail items at the airport and get them delivered right up to the gate in a digital and completely frictionless experience. This is part of their long-term strategy, aimed at maintaining the highest levels of service and enhancing the passenger experience using technology and innovation. My favourite part: Ottonomy, the startup behind the autonomous robot, took part in ADR’s acceleration programme and has been chosen for their cutting-edge innovation.
  • Indonesia takes the funding spotlight. The Indonesia-based OTA Traveloka has secured $300 million funding to support their growth. Seems like the financing round attracted interest from some long-term capital providers, and ended up with an oversubscribed transaction. “As our business continues to accelerate while the industry emerges from the pandemic, this financing allows us an opportunity to further strengthen our balance sheet and enable us to continue to focus on our core business while also building for the future,” said Ferry Unardi, CEO and Co-founder, Traveloka.
  • Growth sprint. After raising $170 million last August and recently adding YieldPlanet to their umbrella, Guesty has now acquired two hospitality software companies: Kigo (Spain) and HiRUM (Australia). The deals are aimed to expand their global reach, increase its resources in research and development and boost product development for customers of all three platforms.
  • SAF Commitments and Investments. JetBlue reinforced their plans to transition to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) with a new agreement with Air Company, which is creating carbon-negative alcohols and fuels from carbon dioxide (CO2). JetBlue committed to buying 25 million gallons of Air Company’s sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) between 2027 and 2032. This comes right after JetBlue Ventures announced their investment into Air Company’s Series A funding round. It’s the kind of push that we like to see moving the industry forward.
  • Acquisitions opening new markets. After successfully closing 2 acquisitions across Europe just this year, Borrow A Boat is now expanding into new territories. The UK-based startup now announced the purchase of KellyBoat and is counting on their local knowledge to boost their tech platform in the United States, one of their fastest-growing markets.
  • Traveltech is taking off. Earlier this week, we announced that FutureTravel and TravelThink are joining forces. Our goal is to provide our readers with better content and industry insights, at the same time that we increase our reach (we’ll now reach over 22k subscribers!). With this new partnership, Dr. Javier González-Soria will also be joining the editorial team of FutureTravel. As you can imagine we are very excited for this milestone and for what’s ahead for our team!