Lola Gets $15 Million to Fund App Update: Travel Startup Funding This Week
While some entrepreneurs argue that speech, not messaging, is the future of how consumers will communicate with technology, Lola’s CEO and co-founder Paul English told Skift last year that messaging is more popular than talking and Lola’s latest investment will help it continue to test whether this is true with travelers.
— Dan Peltier
Some travel startups are starting 2017 on a high note with funding and this week we have news from Airbnb, Resy, and Kayak co-founder’s new startup to name a few.
Each week we create a roundup of travel startups that have received or announced funding that week. The total amount raised this week was more than $33 million.
Earlier this week we covered Airbnb’s $13 million lead investment in Resy. Here are two other companies that announced they raised funding this week and see previous roundups here.
Lola, a Boston, Massachusetts-based travel agent mobile app, has raised a $15 million Series B round led by venture capital CRV and existing investors Accel Partners and
General Catalyst Partners. With this latest round, the company has raised more than $34 million since it was founded in 2015 and the Boston Business Journal reported the company is valued at $90 million.
Lola’s app lets consumers book hotels and flights through messaging human travel agents. Although human travel agents won’t be the only piece of the business — Paul English, Lola’s co-founder and CEO, said in a company blog post that this latest round will help fund a new app version the company plans to launch this year.
English called the new version “v2” and said it will include artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted hotel recommendations. To that point, Lola announced in November that it acquired hotel metasearch site Room 77’s technology to help it gain insight into consumer behavior and hotel search.
International student housing booking site HousingAnywhere raised a $5.2 million Series A round from new investor Real Web and existing investor Henq Invest. The Rotterdam, the Netherlands-based startup has raised a total $6.2 million since it was founded in 2009. It helps students find places to live in 240 cities in 45 countries with nearly 45,000 rentals and also has 115 university partners scattered around the world.