The venture community has been focused on travel and hospitality since the Dotcom era and the early 2000s, when supports such as kayak and Airbnb were still favorites of Silicon Valley. As the global travel and hospitality market continues to grow at trillions of dollars, VCs are still foaming at the opportunity to redefine the way we move around the world and stay around the world.
Despite the cyclical nature of the travel sector, travel and hospitality deal flow has remained strong and largely stable over the past half decade, according to Crunchbase and PitchBook. During the same period, more than a handful of startups in space have achieved unicorn status, including companies like Klook, Sonder, Flixbus, Vacasa, Wheels Up, TripActions, and others.
Top-class funding rounds also appear to be emerging in the various travel and hospitality subsectors, including bookings, activity markets, short-term rentals, tourism and hotel platforms. And companies continue to take hundreds of millions to billions of dollars in funding rounds, such as the Indian hotel network company Oyo, which raised just $ 1.5 billion in December.
While VC investment in the space has remained stable, some investors are predicting that it is only a matter of time before the travel start world experiences a downturn. To get a temperature check on the state of the travel market, fundraising prospects, and sub-sectors that could offer the most attractive opportunities for startups today, we asked five leading VCs in companies that were in early growth to discuss their most exciting topics to share and where do you see opportunities in travel, tourism and hospitality?