Travel Tech 2022: A Look Back at the Highlights

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Today we will focus on reviewing the past year – let’s go:

  •  A new unicorn: In 2022 we saw a new unicorn taking the stage. Barcelona-based global travel management platform Travelperk became a Unicorn thanks to its Serie-D funding round of €101 million which brought its evaluation to €1.1 billion in January 2022. This milestone is also seen as a sign of hope for all the travel tech founders that were heavily hit by the global pandemic in the years before.Founded in 2015, TravelPerk is a pioneering next-generation all-in-one business travel platform offering travellers the freedom they want whilst providing companies with the oversight and control they need. With a team of 1110 employees, it has bagged a total funding amount of €384 million since its founding year. After its Unicorn status announcement, Travelperk: launched a carbon reduction tool, teamed-up with Pleo for travel expense automation, and partnered with Soldo to provide seamless travel and expense management.
  • The biggest funding round of 2022: From a global perspective, Florida-based Virgin Voyages scored the biggest funding round of 2022 in the travel industry. In August 2022, the company raised $550 million for its lifestyle travel brand offering cruise vacations across different destinations. (Aug. 2022). The round was led by BlackRock. In Europe, the biggest round in the travel industry was led by Milan-based Casavo. The startup bagged €400 million for its digital residential platform that is redesigning the experience of selling and buying homes in Europe in July 2022. Right after that, Mews secured €175 million for its cloud-based hotel property management system that helps simplify hotel operations so properties can focus on their guests. The London-based startup announced the round on December 2022, closing the year on a good note.
  • The biggest female-led round: In March 2022 we also saw the biggest female-led round of the year, where Jessica Beck and Marcela Sapone, co-founders of the US-based most advanced residential management platform Alfred and their team raised a funding round of $50 million. The round was led by Rialto Capital Management.
  • The biggest acquisitions of 2022: The biggest acquisition of 2022 was the Dublin-based aircraft leasing company Goshawk, founded in 2013, which was acquired by the Irish SMBC Aviation Capital (part of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation) for €6.3 billion in May 2022. Two months later in July 2022, the Greece-based innovative and fast-growing group of luxury resorts Sani Ikos Group has been acquired by the Singapore-based GIC. The transaction was valued at $3.2 billion. That same month, the public US-based Spirit Airlines, an air transport service that offers customizable travel options was acquired by the US-based JetBlueAirways for $3.8 billion.

Startups founded in 2022 which raised the most: On a global level, there were three startups that were founded in 2022 and already raised a big check to grow their ventures forward. Here are the three startups founded in 2022 that raised the most:

  • The New York-based web3 hospitality technology platform that directly connects restaurants and customers, Blackbird raised $11 million.
  • Hoken was founded in 2022 in New York and has scored $9 million to let travellers and traders purchase hotel bookings with the ability to sell, speculate, or redeem hotel stays.
  • The Mexico-City-based startup Naya Homes landed $5.6 million to redefine the short-term and vacation rental experience for homeowners in Latin America.

So, yes. 2022 was great in many way – and here’s to a new year filled with opportunities for you to take advantage of. I’m looking forward to the innovations and trends we will see emerging in the travel industry this year.