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Eight travel tech startups from SEE to watch

Eight travel tech startups from SEE to watch, TheRecursive.com
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The pandemic has had an enormous impact on the travel industry, closing tourist attractions, hotels, bars and restaurants, and limiting transportation. 

Now with restrictions being lifted and COVID-19 vaccine passports introduced, the tourism sector is expected to slowly start functioning again. 

The past year has been hard for tourism tech startups in the SEE region, yet it has also given them the opportunity to grow, develop and learn from the unprecedented situation. 

Check out some of the most promising travel tech startups from Greece, Romania and Bulgaria, listed alphabetically. 

 

ClaimCompass

Year of founding: 2015

Headquarters: Sofia, Bulgaria

Founders: Velizar Shulev, Tatyana Mitkova, Alexander Sumin

What it does: The startup allows air passengers to receive their compensation for delayed, canceled, or overbooked flights. In 2020, it acquired the US travel app Service.

Traction: ClaimCompass has helped over 200K people get compensated for flight disruptions

Funding round: Seed

Total Funding Amount: Unknown

Key investors: 500 Startups, Good News Ventures, Social Capital 

 

Colibra 

Year of founding: 2018

Headquarters: Sofia, Bulgaria

Founders: Miroslav Zaporozhanov, Kalojan Georgiev, Stilyan Zaporozhanov, Ivan Belomorski

What it does: Its app offers instant compensations for cancelled or delayed flights for more than one-hour flights.

Traction: As reported by the startup, their app has over 50K downloads and more than 10 000 weekly active users. 

Funding round: Seed

Total Funding Amount: $2M

Key investors: Eleven Ventures, Asterion

 

DCS Plus

Year of founding: 2002

Headquarters: Bucharest, Romania

Founder: Cristian Dinca

What it does: Its software products are designed to answer the needs of travel agencies and include corporate self-booking tools, internet booking engine, tour operator solution for advanced contract management, and development of multiple selling channels.

Traction: The company has customers from more than 50 markets worldwide, including Amex GBT, Reed&MacKay, Uniglobe, Lufthansa City Center.

Funding round: Unknown

Read more:  Romanian travel tech startup Framey raises $1M to disrupt travel planning

Total Funding Amount: $6.2M

Key investors: Earlybird Venture Capital, Credo Ventures

 

Ferryhopper

Year of founding: 2016

Headquarters: Athens, Attica, Greece

Founders: Aiden Short, Christos Spatharakis, Panagiotis Sarafis, Vasileios Lahanas

What it does: The online platform of the startup books and compares ferry tickets for around 160 Greek islands and ports. 

Traction: Since 2017, over 1 million ferry tickets have been purchased through the platform.

Funding round: Series A

Total Funding Amount: €3.2M

Key investors: Metavallon VC, LAUNCHub Ventures, easyGroup

 

Questo

Year of founding: 2017

Headquarters: Bucharest, Romania

Founders: Alexandru Govoreanu, Claudiu Petria

What it does: Its mobile platform for game-based city exploration turns cities into playgrounds – tourists can follow clues, unlock new places and solve riddles while learning more about the locations and their history.

Traction: The World Tourism Organization gave Questo an award in the category for Disruptive Hospitality.

Funding round: Seed

Total Funding Amount: $1.8M

Key investors: Early Game Ventures, Sparking Capital

 

Stasher

Year of founding: 2015

Headquarters: London, UK 

What it does: The solution of the Greek-born startup facilitates the online search and booking of luggage storage. Items stored at a StasherPoint are covered for damage, loss, and theft up to the value of £1K.

Traction: The service is available in over 250 cities worldwide, including locations in the US and Australia. The startup partners with brands such as Premier Inn, Expedia, Holiday Express, OYO, and Accor.

Funding round: Unknown 

Total Funding Amount: $5.4M

Key investors: VentureFriends, [email protected], Johan Svanstrom, previously president of Expedia-owned Hotels.com.

 

Triparound

Year of founding: 2019

Headquarters: Athens, Greece and Palo Alto, California

Founders: Christos Stergiou, Antonis Chalkiopoulos

What it does: Its SaaS solution helps travel specialists source customers and suppliers by utilizing data migration, assists travel companies to create pre-packaged and customized itineraries and automates the booking process.

Traction: Its solution is used by hotel chains such as Sani Resort, Ikos Resorts, Costa Navarino, Electra Hotels & Resorts, Mitsis Hotels, YES! Hotels and Santikos Collection.

Read more:  The SEE entrepreneur calendar for 2022

Funding round: Seed

Total Funding Amount: $2M

Key investors: CapitalG partner Laela Sturdy, DFJ partner Andreas Stavropoulos, and Tenaya Capital partner Ben Boyer (all angel investors).

 

WelcomePickups

Year of founding: 2016

Headquarters: Athens, Attica, Greece

Founders: Alexandros Trimis, Savvas Georgiou

What it does: Its tech platform offers transfer services, essential products, pre-ordered tickets to top attractions, tips and tailor-made experiences led by locals.

Traction: As of now, the platform can be used for over 62 destinations in 31 countries.

Funding round: Series A

Total Funding Amount: $6.8M

Key investors: Venture Friends

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https://therecursive.com/author/viktoriakuzmanova/

Viktoria is an Innovation Reporter at The Recursive and a sophomore-standing student at the American University in Bulgaria. Combining her Business Administration studies while mapping the Southeastern European startup ecosystem is a positive-sum game for her as she has the chance to interact with the most active entrepreneurs in the region. Her favorite topics include venture capital structures, investments, as well as innovations in the scitech and fintech sectors.
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