The Investors Who (Still) Don’t Hate Travel

A comprehensive, all-encompassing list of individuals or funds that invest in the travel space is something that almost all travel founders have a need for at some point. A couple years back, our friend Tristan Mace assembled a list of investors that have a proclivity towards travel. Tristan, a founder of two travel tech startups, saw the importance in building a resource he knew others needed.

The list was an update from an earlier version, created in 2014 by David Ambrose and distributed by Gillian Morris. The investors on the list were at best interested in travel — and at least, willing to push through the complexities and consider an investment in this enormous-but-challenging industry.

Since 2016, this list has served as an invaluable resource to travel startups looking for guidance on fundraising. We felt now was a good time for an update. Alongside our own list of investors who still don’t hate travel, we’ve pulled in some research to highlight a broad swath of investors that are active within travel.

The list, per TNW

The Index, a data service run by TheNextWeb, Shows that these are the top 10 VC firms allocating capital to travel.

Caption: The top firms by investment count [The Index]

The list, per CB Insights

Now let’s turn to the top investors list, according to CB Insights most recent State of Travel Tech report.

While this analysis mirrored Phocuswright insofar as 2017 being a record year for deals in travel, it found $5.3 billion invested across 348 deals. That’s far less than the $31 billion calculated by Phocuswright, though part of this discrepancy is mostly due to the exclusion of car-hailing services Uber and Lyft.

Caption: The most active VCs in recent history. [CB Insights]

The list, per AngelList

There’re a few ways to slice the data at AngelList. For the purposes of being the most relevant to the broader travel industry, here are two views of the most active investors in travel on aggregate, as well as online travel specifically.

Caption: Top 10 investors in Online Travel, sorted by number of investments [AngelList]

Caption: Top 10 investors in Travel, sorted by number of investments [AngelList]

The investment data says…

So far in the U.S., 2018 has been an average year for investments in travel. Looking beyond the “Airbnb effect” in 2015 and 2017, deals this year are fewer in number but greater in size than average: 23 deals for a total of $271 million invested.

Caption: Pitchbook data as of August 23, 2018

The list, per Voyager HQ

We have a close view of the industry, and we know that these investors support travel startups with both capital and valuable expert knowledge.

This list is a live document, with updates coming from the Voyager HQ team as we receive them. Feel free to check back and see how the investment landscape in travel continues to grow.

Pulling out wider the worldwide investment landscape, a recent Phocuswright report pegged the total VC investment across 2,000 active travel startups at $31 billion for 2017. That’s up from $19 billion in the year before. So far in 2018, there were 160 deals valued at $4 billion. That performance is “on pace to set a new record,” per the analysts.

The gulf between the Pitchbook data and Phocuswright analysis shows that the majority of investment in travel this year comes from outside of traditionally strong markets like the United States.

In aggregate, the investment data is a reminder of just how hard securing investment in travel can be — and why it’s a smart move to target your pitch to investors that don’t hate travel!

Are you a startup founder or investor in the travel space? Did we miss a piece of this puzzle? Share in the comments or tweet us @VoyagerHQ so we can all benefit from the conversation.