Israeli ground travel booking agency Bookaway Group, announced on Tuesday the completion of a $35 million Series C funding round to further enhance its digital platform and expand its service offerings.
The round was led by high-tech investment firm Red Dot Capital Partners, Tel Aviv-based insurance provider Menorah, and New York-based venture capital firm Tenere Capital. Existing investors Aleph, Corner Ventures, and Entrée Capital also participated. Red Dot’s managing partner Barak Solomon, will join Bookaway Group’s board of directors.
This latest capital comes on the heels of the startup’s recent spikes in sales performance and brings the company’s total funding to more than $80 million. Bookaway Group’s April sales tracked 50 percent higher than 2019 figures due to the resurgence of the travel industry following the complications brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the company reports that bookings in Asia-Pacific have increased by 10 percent week over week since the start of 2022.
Bookaway Group will use its newest capital to supply new financial models and operational tools that help operators recover faster from the pandemic’s setbacks. It will also apply the funding towards upgrading daily fleet management and boosting profitability.
Bookaway Group is an online platform for booking ground travel services from local transportation suppliers all around the world. The company simplifies travel planning by providing travelers and tourists the best, most convenient services to get to where they need to go. It is all part of the company’s mission to wholly digitize the $157 billion ground transportation market, which conducts an estimated 90% of its transactions offline, either through physical shops or kiosks.
The company was formed in 2021, but its founders established its first iteration Bookaway.com, in 2017. When the COVID-19 pandemic started spreading and bookings began to plummet, the decision was taken to raise enough capital to strategically acquire its competitors to form a comprehensive ground transport technology company. To date, Bookaway Group has acquired four online travel agencies (OTAs): Bookaway.com, 12Go servicing the Asian Pacific, GetByBus servicing the Balkans and Europe, and Plataforma 10 servicing Argentina and the greater Latin American region. This has enabled the company to grow 15 times larger compared to 2019 despite pandemic travel restrictions.
“Helping people to easily book buses, trains and ferries is travel’s final frontier and the prize is a slice of this enormous market,” said Noam Toister, CEO of Bookaway Group. “We expect to continue our acquisition strategy with a view to becoming the only player able to offer complete ground transport inventory globally. We complement acquisitions with an operating strategy that prioritizes organic growth in everything we do. Our sales come primarily from travelers booking on our own sites today but we’re confident the technology we’re developing, and operator partnerships we’re building, mean we can grow our B2B business by becoming the go-to API for all travel brands that want to add ground transport alongside flights and hotels.”