Tourism is more alive than ever and so are travel tech startups. It was seen on the occasion of the Travel Investor Day organized by the tourism startup association and which saw twelve startups all with already established or promising businesses and all proposed by entrepreneurs with very clear ideas and an equally clear vision of the sector in which they operate.
“Travel Investor Day is the last step in a startup selection process – he says Karin Venneri, president of the Association – 90 startups have applied for, 30 pre-selected ones and 12 choices to be presented to investors. The startup tourism association helps startups to create a networking capable of offering business match and fundraising opportunities but it is also an active service for promotion and training “.
The Association also supports startups in the phases of growth and internationalization and is sensitive to the support of the sector by the ecosystem players, in particular those of a financial and industrial nature: “in this phase it is essential not to neglect that investment range considered seed that allows us to support companies in the nascent and early stages of development and therefore to continue to create a pool of promising startups that can feed the sector and then become large, giving the country that role it deserves also at an international level in the tourism sector ”, adds Venneri.
The twelve startups
Chipango is a co-traveling and sharing economy platform dedicated to travelers looking for companions, making it possible to organize without a tour operator, explains CEO Alberto Benedetti. Currently the platform offers about 800 different trips and applies a B2B2C model, towards the business with the aim of selling and promoting services through the platform and towards the end customer by proposing an easy and innovative system for traveling together. The target is that of millennials who currently cover 75% of travelers, a growing market. The founding request is 300 thousand euros with the intention of consolidating the club of members and the brand awareness but above all to improve the AI matching algorithm based on the data provided by the members.
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Riccardo Sedola CEO of Cyclando tells the startup dedicated to cyclist travelers, highlights the problem of the difficulty in booking services for cyclists still fragmented today. Cyclando is a platform that aggregates and compares services, and is therefore intended for both companies and end customers, who can find all the necessary services through a single step. Cycle tourism is a growing market and for now without efficient tour operators therefore with little competition. Between 2020 and 2021 the transacted turnover rose from 76 thousand euros to 251 thousand euros and the request is for a round of 300 thousand euros to be allocated mainly to the improvement of the platform.
Co-founder of Freedome is Michele Mezzanzanica, which explains how Freedome is the new outdoor activity marketplace. Currently offering more than 1,600 experiences offered by 500 professional operators, 34 thousand people have already chosen Freedome to book and experience adventures, of which 25 thousand in 2021 for a total of 1.7 million euros managed in bookings in the year. The system is configured in research, comparison and choice. The request for financing is 2 million euros useful for improving the platform and increasing the available services.
Group reservation system is a platform dedicated to hospitality for groups, Paolo Medeghini, CEO, highlights the problem of the difficulty that groups encounter in making reservations, currently it is possible to book hotels or tour operators only by submitting specific requests for groups with more than 10 people, what the startup proposes is to organize databases of hotels and tour operators as well to reduce costs and increase distribution capacity, the platform provides a membership fee for tour operators and hotels and has had a two-year trial period in which the functions have been tested and the 500,000 euro fundraising requested is addressed software development for hotels and tour operators and marketing. The target groups are those with more than 10 people such as schools, religious travel, adventure travel.
Hq Village is based on enhancing small Italian villages as places of smart working Silvia De Angeli co-CEO of the startup presents the current objectives achieved such as the adhesion of more than 150 villages, the startup was born before the covid but thanks to the pandemic that prompted the remote wolring it managed to reach a significant milestone. The platform allows you to book both the stay and the work space in an Italian village among those available, the software also allows the collection of data that will improve the offer and is a benefit company because it pursues the objectives of sustainability in the UN with respect to the well-being of places and people, reservations are aimed at finding functional places for a medium-long period.
Francesco Nazari Fusetti CEO of Meeters startup dedicated to customers looking for socialization and sharing experiences of various kinds: from dinners to multi-day trips, the starutp presents itself as an experience provider and tour operator because it is possible both to know and chat with people but also to actually book through ticketing platform events and travel, is mainly aimed at local experiences for locals and tourists and the current audience is mostly aged over 60. The platform provides a membership of 29 euros per year to which costs are added depending on the experience chosen. Meeters aims to expand throughout Europe and currently already has a pilot project in Madrid, the request for funds is 500 thousand euros in convertibles aimed at improving the application.
Massimiliano La Rocca is the CEO of Miravilius which offers live digital travel experiences with more than 300 destinations and professional guides trained by the Miravilius Guide Academy. The customer is destined for the virtual travel experience that costs starting from 5 euros, currently in addition to individual members and companies there are also active co-marketing actions such as those with Flixbus and Amplifon, the latter dedicated to organizing trips live digital for retirement home guests. The request for 500 thousand euros in convertible is aimed at creating an autonomous streaming platform and then an app for smartphones. The guides receive 80 euros for each live.
Overbooking is a platform dedicated mainly to hotels and B&B for the quick and effective management of overbooking bookings, Fabio Spadafora CEO of the startup describes the platform as useful both for the protection of the guest and his reservation and also of the hotel by increasing the occupancy rate and managing the overbooking problems that are given by three causes: technical errors of the system, human errors of registration of the hotel reservations and marketing strategies that don’t always work properly. The startup also offers a plug-in that allows the structure to review the data and offers strategic suggestions, for the structures that join the membership fee is 69 euros if you have only one hotel and 99 if you have more than one hotel, the required funding. is 500 thousand euros to be addressed to marketing and sales.
Andrea Gambini CEO of Pemcards tells the innovative solution of his startup in the mad tech field that allows the final consumer to transform the photos taken by smartphones into real paper postcards and to send them all over the world. The cost of a single shipment is 2.99 euros while a company that wishes to use the service to promote itself can purchase a minimum of one thousand credits for 2450 euros. The loan request is for 450 thousand euros.
Daniela Primerano, chief communication officer of Toratora explains how the platform is an e-commerce that organizes surprise trips with complete packages of which only the date and place of departure are known until the week before in which the place of destination is also discovered, the basic package costs 179 euros and provides 3 days and 2 nights in Europe with flight and hotel, the offer is completed with any additional services that can be purchased at any time and are offered by the platform itself, the target is that of 18-35 years. There are also vouchers and a summer package for 15-night trips, the AI of the software collecting the data in the database automatically discards the places where a user has already gone. The startup is looking for a million euros of which 35% will go to IT, 45% to marketing and 20% to services.
Tela is presented by Vincenzo Abbattantuoni CFO, is a Saas dedicated to the management and digitization of places of culture, such as museums, halls, cultural events. It offers a platform that manages and streamlines the workflow and ticket payments by easily administering events, and offers users both ease of purchase and more information about the event. Tela offers a vertical plug and go package that includes ticketing and marketing. The funding requested is 500 thousand euros and based on software development
Andrea Zuanetti CEO and one of the three aerospace engineers who created Up2You dedicated to sustainability and climate change, the startup helps people and companies to reduce the environmental impact and CO2 reduction with carbon neutral travel, zero emission travel. Up2You develops a travel climate journey process according to four steps: calculation, reduction, compensation and effective communication, avoiding falling into the greenwashing trap. Among the examples that have already made use of the Up2You services there is for example the Tedx of Cortina, in 2021 the turnover was 100 thousand euros which is equivalent to that of the first quarter of 2022, the request for financing is two million euros. EUR. (Photo by ConvertKit on Unsplash )
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