No scooter startups or flying taxis. No blockchain-based dreams - Skift put together its list of the year’s top 20 travel startups.
Skift only included startups that have raised less than $25 million in venture funding. The reason? Skift reviewed hundreds of emerging travel companies over nearly six years, and have found that fundraising is a separate skill from building solid companies.
Bidroom - an Amazon Prime for hotel bookings
Booking Holdings and Expedia Group are squeezing independent hotels with commissions and costs that can total as much as 30 percent. Many owners are eager for alternatives. Bidroom aims to offer one, charging hotels zero commissions after a one-time $174, or €149, fee. It charges travelers $69, or €59, a year for access. Recent changes in contracts between the online travel giants and hotels allow each side to offer discounted rates via membership-based platforms. Credit card issuer Visa is marketing Bidroom to its users in Europe.
Fornova - helping hotels preserve rate integrity
Fornova got its start, essentially, as the world’s most sophisticated web scraper. It helped customers like Priceline and Expedia trawl online rates for hotels and compare how often hotels and other websites were undercutting them on price. The startup has since expanded with an array of technologies that help hotels maintain the integrity of their rates. So far, Marriott, Accor, and other hotel groups use Fornova to monitor and benchmark online rates and automatically react to ensure they sell every room in the smartest way.
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