Israeli land travel booking agency Bookaway Group raises $35 million
Israel’s land-based travel booking agency Bookaway Group on Tuesday announced 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 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 Entrance Capital also participated. Red Dot managing partner Barak Solomon will join Bookaway Group’s board of directors.
This latest capital follows the startup’s recent sales performance spikes and brings the company’s total funding to over $80 million. Bookaway Group’s April sales were up 50% from 2019 figures due to the resurgence of the travel industry following complications from the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the company reports that Asia Pacific bookings are up 10% week-over-week since the start of 2022.
Bookaway Group will use its new capital to deliver new financial models and operational tools that will help operators recover from pandemic setbacks faster. It will also apply the funding to upgrading day-to-day fleet management and increasing profitability.
Bookaway Group is an online platform for booking ground transportation services from local transportation providers around the world. The company simplifies travel planning by providing travelers and tourists with the best and most convenient services to get where they need to go. It’s all part of the company’s mission to fully digitize the $157 billion ground transportation market, which conducts roughly 90% of its transactions offline, whether through physical stores or kiosks.
The company was established in 2021, but its founders created its first Bookaway.com iteration, in 2017. When the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread and bookings began to drop, the decision was made to raise enough capital to strategically acquire competitors to form a comprehensive ground transportation technology business. To date, Bookaway Group has acquired four online travel agencies (OTAs): Bookaway.com, 12Go serving Asia-Pacific, GetByBus serving the Balkans and Europe, and Plataforma 10 serving Argentina and the greater region. from Latin America. This allowed the business to grow 15 times more than in 2019 despite pandemic-related travel restrictions.
“Helping people easily book buses, trains and ferries is the final frontier in travel and price is a slice of that huge market,” said Noam Toister, CEO of Bookaway Group. “We plan to pursue our acquisition strategy to become the only player capable of offering a complete ground transportation inventory on a global scale. 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 believe that the technology we are developing and the operator partnerships we are building mean we can grow our B2B business by becoming the go-to API for all travel brands. who want to add ground transportation alongside flights and hotels.