Travel Tech is technology and innovation in the travel industry. It includes everything from online booking services to ride-sharing platforms.
General facts about Travel Tech:
- Travel is the world’s largest Service Sector Industry.
- The highest valued Travel Tech companies are Priceline, Expedia and Airbnb.
- Some of the largest funding rounds in Travel Tech are BlaBlaCar ($181M), Skyscanner ($180M) and Secret Escapes ($25M).
- The most active investors in Travel Tech are Accel Partners (10 investments), followed by Rocket Internet and Holtzbrinck Ventures (both 8 investments).
Opportunities in Travel Tech are massive. Hundreds of billions of dollars worth of travel-services are booked “offline” every year (via phone, travel agents etc). And only 20% of online bookings are made via mobile.
There are literally multi-billion dollar opportunities for tech companies to innovate and digitize a wide range of areas in travel.
A good example of a successful Travel Tech company is Copenhagen based Momondo that raised a total of $8.4M for it’s online travel search engine, and then acquired for $550M by Priceline after 6 years of operation.
Investments in Travel Tech in Europe have increased steadily in the past years, and were projected to reach $660M in 98 deals in 2016. Most of the funding is going to the UK, Germany and France.
These are some of the startups that are innovating in the travel industry in Stockholm:
Flightradar24 is the leading live flight tracker that shows air traffic in real time. The company started as a hobby project in 2006 when two Swedes decided to build a network of aircraft receivers in Northern and Central Europe. In 2009 they opened up the network and made it possible for anyone with an receivers to upload data to the network. Today, Flightradar24 had the largest network of flight receivers in the world with over 10,000 connected devices. Over 150,000 flights are tracked every day and the service has 1.5+ million daily active users. Their app has been the #1 app on AppStore in 120+ countries with 30+ million app downloads.
Snowfall is one of the fastest growing travel tech companies in Europe with SAS, MTR, American Airlines and many others as customers. The company develops software for a full spectrum of travel services such as booking, seat reservation, account management, customer service, vehicle reporting and much more. In 2015, Snowfall had over 65M SEK in revenue — up 45% from the year before. It’s safe to say that Snowfall is one of the leading Travel Tech companies in the Nordics.
GuidePal is a platform for mobile travel guides. GuidePal allows brands to create their own unique guides that provide value for their respective target market. On the consumer side GuidePal gathers and ranks the top guides for each city based on quality and specific interests. From the description: “GuidePal connects explorers and brands for the best destination experience. We’re all about high-quality curated city guides from sources you can trust: local experts, professional journalists, brands and your friends”. All of the guides can be used offline and have been downloaded millions of times from the various app stores.
Triple is a platform that connects local tour guides and travelers. Local residents can create and offer tours and experiences in their cities, and traveler you can take part of these tours for a more unique local experience. Some examples are “Oil painting with local artist”, “The history of architecture in Stockholm” and “Explore the Swedish archipelago with jetski”. Triple launched in 2017 and you can try it here.
Race.se is a platform for endurance race events such as marathons, triathlons and even cross country skiing. Race events attract millions of travelers to various destinations each year. With a platform like Race.se, runners, participants and spectators can find the optimal events around the world and sign up to all of them in one place — at least that’s the long term vision. For now Race.se is available in Sweden but is planning to expand quickly to other markets.
Handiscover is similar to Airbnb but for accessible accommodation. At the core of Handiscover is a unique classiﬁcation system that allows users to select accommodation based on their level of mobility/physical disability. Handiscover combines both professional hosts (B&B, small hotels) and private hosts, applying a “sharing economy” model in travel for people with disabilities.
Magiska Platser (Magic Places in English) provides location-aware audio tour guides. So far the platform offers audio guides for Stockholm in Swedish, but the company plans on expanding to other cities and languages soon. The company is co-founded by Viggo Cavling, a frequent writer in one of the leading tech-news sites in Sweden, Breakit, where he chronicles his startup journey in detail.
The next Startup Weekend in Stockholm is about Travel Tech. The event will be held May 12–14 at the The Park. From the organizers:
In our Startup Weekend Travel edition we are looking at how we can delight the traveler or solve her pains. There are endless opportunities to transform travel experience with emerging technologies.
Here are a few of them that, we believe, will transform the future of travel industry: Connected devices, Virtual/Augmented Reality, Blockchain, Robotics, Artificial intelligence, Big Data for more personalized travel
I’m one of the mentors, hope to see you there!
Visit Stockholm is the official visitors bureau of Stockholm. They promote and develop the Stockholm region as a travel destination, and also work with conferences and evens. They offer the most comprehensive guide to Stockholm in the Stockholm Visitor Center and can answer any question you might have about tourism and travel in Stockholm.