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Venture capitalists still betting on travel tech

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March 10
6:17 AM 2014

Venture capital firms are still backing travel tech companies that aim to provide users with a better travel experience, TechCrunch reported.

The investments made in travel and accommodation firms worldwide has continued in the past few years even as travel booking sites like Kayak, Expedia and TripAdvisor continue to remain popular. Venture capitalists have invested million in Airbnb, Berlin's Wimdu, China-based 17u.cn, Moscow's Ostrovok, London's HouseTrip and Rio de Janeiro-based Hotel Urbano, the report said.

Now, travelers want to be able to make their bookings from their mobile devices. It is this kind of easy access and convenience that the travel tech industry is looking to meet.

Ben Holmes of Index Ventures told TechCrunch, "Mobile is changing the landscape a lot. More broadly consumers are wanting and expecting to be able to use their mobile phones as a remote control for their life... and travel is part of that."

Travel startups have added more features to their services to meet the demand of travelers. Now, users don't have to plan their trips months ahead. On-demand services have become available even for the consumer that just wants to book and go. For example, the startup Rocketmiles allows users to book a flight for the following day using their reward points. With HotelTonight, they can reserve a room upon arriving at the airport. They may even ask for a car pickup to drive them to the hotel through a regional service like Uber, the report said.

Travelers to foreign countries can also take advantage of the services of Trippifi which shows friends close by. They can also book activities and tours using GetYourGuide while WorldMate gives a one-stop shop for organizing their trip, the report said.

The increase of investments in this space is happening worldwide. CrunchBase data showed that venture capitalists have financed travel-related firms located in 40 countries for the past five years, the report said.

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