On Monday, Phocuswright released its Hot 25 Startups list for 2019. Created in partnership with Voyager HQ, a club that connects travel startup founders, investors, and corporations, the list highlights the startups they believe have staying power in a crowded and fast-moving marketplace.
“The companies on our list are those we feel have the greatest potential to make a difference to their sector or market in the next 12 months – based on their ability to innovate, grow customers and expand geographically, as well as the quality of their leadership team,” PhocusWire writes. “To rank potential objectively, we asked contributors to score each company on significant recent fundraising, press, partnerships, product, traction and acquisition potential.”
Four vacation rental-specific companies and one travel tech company coming into the industry next year made the list, along with a few others that could make appearances in this space in the future.
Dynamic pricing and revenue management software Beyond Pricing currently serves more than 150,000 listings across 7,000 cities. In 2019, it’s aiming to grow to 500,000 listings and hit $3 billion in bookings, as well as eyeing boutique hotel accommodations and bed and breakfasts. The company has raised $3.5 million in venture capital led by Bullpen Capital and Resolute Ventures.
GuestReady provides vacation and short-term rental hosts with select property management services including cleaning and maintenance. Currently, the company operates in the UK, France, Portugal, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates. GuestReady has raised $3.7 million over two seed investment rounds led by Impulse VC and Swiss Founders Fund, and it acquired the London company Easy Rental Services in October of last year. The company is planning for more acquisitions next year, as well as extensions of its property management technology, to grow its management to more than 2,000 properties in 15 cities.
Copenhagen-based LuggageHero offers storage kiosks in shops for travelers to store their luggage for $1 an hour while they wait for their rental property to become available. Kiosks can be found in 310 shops across New York City, London, and Copenhagen, and the company plans to expand to 36 additional cities by January 2020. LuggageHero is also planning integrations to allow vacation rental managers, OTAs, and other third parties to offer luggage storage reservations directly within their platforms.
The company announced $380,000 in seed funding from angel investors in July of 2017.
Slickspaces automates guest entry, check-in, and check-out processes for property managers, apartments, bed and breakfasts, hotels, and other accommodations providers. The Vancouver-based company has raised $3 million in funding, including an investment from BlackPines Capital Partners Inc., whose founder and CEO is ex-Booking Holdings CEO Darren Huston. Huston also serves as Slickspaces’ executive chairman.
TripTech makes it possible to run native ads with real-time pricing and availability on top travel sites. The company will be expanding into vacation rentals, extended stay hotels, and other accommodations spaces next year.
Other Hot 25 companies to watch:
- Ascape: An app that curates 360° videos and virtual reality travel content. The company is developing a library of stock content that will be available for travel brands to license
- Stay22: An event planning software tool that gives event organizers a way to direct attendees to accommodations around an event’s venue, including homes listed on Airbnb.
- TravelPerk: A corporate travel management platform that let company travel planners or individual employees book plane tickets, hotels, properties on Airbnb, trains, and other business trip needs on one itinerary with one invoice.
- VoyHoy: A multimodal search platform that allows travelers to search combinations of air, rail, and bus travel in Latin America. In 2019, it will add other last mile transportation options to better access islands, national parks, and other places that are difficult to reach, as many vacation rental-friendly destinations can be.