Travelling can be a tricky business. We’ve all been there: those last-minute rushes you get into abroad. Where can you find the best deals on flights? How do coach and train tickets work? How do you plan your travel itinerary?
These companies are reinventing the way we travel the globe. Each can straighten out those snags that come with travelling, helping you to achieve a stress-free globetrotting experience. From helping you choose the best deals, find the most affordable hotels, and even help you find that gadget you lost on the flight, these are the companies that need to be on your radar.
Whether you’re a self-proclaimed roaming spirit, or simply someone who enjoys a relaxing holiday every now and again, here’s our list of some of the TravelTech startups to keep an eye on in 2023:
Safari Portal is an innovative travel tech platform that helps travel professionals create stunning, personalized proposals. The platform’s interface and robust content library make it easy to create beautiful, engaging itineraries that will wow clients. Safari Portal helps travel agents save time and improve efficiency. Safari Portal provides a seamless, interactive, visually-pleasing digital platform for travel professionals and clients.
This transformational tool simplifies the intricate travel planning process, combining beautiful design with an intuitive, user-centric interface to bring destinations to life. Dubbed the “Canva for travel pros,” Safari Portal marries design and efficiency. The company caters to luxury travel agents and tour operators who value time, aesthetics and attention to detail, enabling them to quickly craft stunning, personalized proposals reflecting the passion and care behind each bespoke itinerary.
Robust destination content and media libraries immerse users and bring journeys to life. Personalized guest portals add further functionality with built-in forms, flight details, documents and more, fostering a cohesive, dynamic user experience.
Safari Portal’s exponential growth, fueled by word-of-mouth recommendations, validates its successful integration of design excellence and functional efficiency. Safari Portal transforms travel planning, setting a new standard for engaging, creative and productive trip design.
Insured Nomads is a TravelTech global disrupter that has built insurance and employee benefits for the modern company that has operations in multiple countries, a work-anywhere program, remote workers or a distributed team. We are a fully integrated insurance, finance and travel ecosystem powered by AI/ML, GPS enabled empowering our communities to safely and intelligently live work and play globally.
The ability to travel for leisure, work or a combination of both has brought on the need for the application of travel technology that puts the power of security and safety into the hands of the member with an instant response panic button in-app, push notifications and a phone call if something happens near you that we feel relocation assistance and coordination is potential, cyber risk benefits, airport lounge access and mental health therapy all within a few taps on your screen so you can live, work and play anywhere.
Travelier, formerly known as Bookaway Group, is a travel-tech company, revolutionizing ground and sea transportation for travellers. Travelier’s network of digital platforms allows customers to instantly buy intercity tickets to ferries, buses and trains in local markets which can be usually complex, enabling stress-free travel across the globe.
Since its founding in 2017, Travelier has worked to bridge the gap between international travellers and local transportation suppliers – empowering suppliers to grow their businesses, all while easing travel anxiety for the consumer.
Travelier‘s mission to facilitate memorable journeys is not only at the root of their proprietary platform but stretches across their wide range of subsidiaries – Bookaway, Getbuybus servicing the Balkans, 12Go in Southeast Asia, SeatOS for the Asia Pacific market, and Plataforma10 and Sisorg servicing Latin America.
Porter is a Cardiff-based travel-tech company helping organisations monetise the travel intent of their audience.
Having originally been created as a B2C company, Porter made the pivot to developing a B2B SaaS business model following the creation of their ‘Collections’ interface (think Spotify playlists for hotels). The launch of collections helped Porter recognise the value of delivering hyper-relevant shortlists of hotels, tailored to very specific themes, audiences and events.
Over the past few months, Porter has seen some amazing success reaching tens of thousands of highly targeted users, helping them book hotels and delivering a new revenue stream to sports teams, event organisers, venues and conference organisers.
Porter works by creating relevant shortlists of hotels tailored to very specific audiences e.g. participants in a half marathon. These collections are styled using the partner’s branding, and can then easily be embedded on their platforms to help their audience find relevant accommodation options at the right time i.e. post purchase of a race entry.
Porter now has some exciting plans for the year ahead, building out new tools tailored to specific use cases to help more organisations monetise the travel intent of their audience.
Joyned began as a simple concept: a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution that makes group buying decisions online easier. Co-founded by entrepreneur Jonathan Abraham and tech whizz Michael Levinson, CEO and CPO respectively, their mission was to build a software add-on for e-commerce retailers, allowing merchants to provide a dedicated, secure space within their existing site for groups of customers to discuss and make purchases.
In 2022 Joyned then launched its flagship travel sector SaaS booking product ‘Joyned Booking’ amid a buoyancy in the market post-COVID.
Underpinned by Joyned’s group buying technology, Joyned Booking enables groups of friends and family who want to go on holiday together to discuss and make purchases directly on a travel site in a secure, private, online space. Through its superior cross-website, live experience, travel sites are empowered to own their customers’ natural social engagements directly on-site, typically increasing travel sites’ conversion rates by four times their baseline and increasing average order value by 25%.
Unlike other SaaS solutions for travel sites, Joyned is currently the only company to offer an off-the-shelf solution that incorporates a seamless, collaborative booking experience.
Seatfrog is the rail ticketing app that is transforming the way people buy, swap and upgrade their train tickets. Since its launch in 2018, Seatfrog has already saved Britons £43M and its impact is only growing.
The app allows you to:
Find the best train journeys at the best prices, and book them without a booking fee
Bid on empty first-class seats and snag them for a bargain price (sometimes as little as a fiver). So far, it’s saved Brits over £43m on rail travel.
Change onto different trains and train times from just £2.50. According to research Britons are currently wasting £700m a year on rebooking train tickets
As a background to how Seatfrog came about; five years ago, Co-Founders Iain Griffin and Dirk Stewart, who, at a combined height of 13ft, discovered a hidden opportunity. They constantly had to book first-class seats to get the extra legroom they required and couldn’t believe the billions of pounds in missed revenue through the amount of empty, unsold seats. With that realisation they launched the app, enabling people to access these first-class seats across 3,400+ UK destinations at affordable prices.
Lost and Found Software
Lost and Found Software was founded with the vision of creating a “Google for Lost & Found” as the media dubbed it, and it all started when CEO Markus Schaarschmidt lost his company laptop during a business trip.
Our vision is to connect lost and found items worldwide into one interconnected network, enabling a faster and more efficient process of reuniting lost items with their owners.
With this vision, we were able to convince the Stanford accelerator StartX to join the Silicon Valley ecosystem.
With 38 airports worldwide, including Heathrow and Bristol Airport, we have established ourselves as the world’s leading lost and found solution for the travel industry, public transport, amusement parks, and any company that deals with lost and found items.
We provide AI Text & Image Recognition to register items, a smart matching algorithm to identify owners and integrated OpenAI to support communication and provide lost and found predictions.
Bob W is a tech-powered short-term rental operator that has built a reputation for elevating the hospitality experience by offering a smarter alternative to mainstream hotels and conventional short-term rentals. Sustainably operated, design-led apartments offer the consistent quality of a hotel alongside the utility and authentic flair of a short-term rental.
Bob W’s own tech platform and a suite of web apps provide a fully-digitised guest journey, allowing the brand to retain control of the customer experience from beginning to end. Super-early check-in or late check-outs can be instantly guaranteed based on live availability. The chat-based perfect host ‘Bob W’ has been specifically designed to be empathetic and attentive at all times, and a full-service offering can be delivered via Bob W’s local ‘marketplace’ connecting guests to local cafes, gyms and facilities.
This tech platform provides a seamless digital front desk experience that is backed by robust digital customer service and other fail safes, so guests always feel looked after. IoT devices detecting decibels, humidity, temperature and energy usage are integrated with chat and operational systems to optimise the guest experience, whilst rich guest profiles are developed to ensure every stay is tailored to the guest, down to allergy requirements. The authenticity and quality of guest experience are key.
UTC Travel is a new online travel agent that offers membership with access to travel trade prices. Saving members up 40% on hotels worldwide, packages, car hire, transfers and a host of other travel and leisure benefits.
Unlike traditional agents, UTC Travel charges a small annual or monthly membership fee and in over 95% of all searches you will find them cheaper and on those rare occasions they aren’t they will price match it. Founded by seasoned travel experts, UTC Travel flips the traditional travel booking model to pass greater value onto the traveller.
Their pioneering membership approach is a win/win. Ensuring travellers get the very best trade price, without compromising on choice. Annual or monthly UTC Travel membership offers exceptional value. Giving access to trade prices on a huge inventory of 4- and 5-star hotels as well as discounts on UK dining, cinemas, theatres and attractions. Their travel plus membership is just £99 per annum or £9 per month.
Wanderu is the leading bus and train booking platform in North America and Europe. It is a travel aggregator that simplifies the booking experience for intercity bus and train travel. Wanderu partners with over 500 ground travel providers in North America and Europe to provide the best bus and train options all in one place.
Wanderu empowers travellers by making the booking process simple, easy, and cheap. One search on the Wanderu app or website lets travellers compare prices and book tickets in a snap. When there are no direct travel options available, Wanderu’s unique routing technology builds travel itineraries that combine bus and train trips from different operators.
Buses and trains are more affordable and sustainable than flights, but historically ground travel companies lacked the standardization that makes aggregating flight data so easy. That’s where Wanderu came in. Via partnerships with hundreds of carriers, Wanderu aggregates schedules standardise data, and ultimately make bus and train travel more accessible to travellers.
This August, Wanderu is celebrating 10 years since its original launch to the public in August 2013.
The Luxury Chalet Company
The Luxury Chalet Company is a London-based luxury ski travel agency (online luxury accommodation). We’re a few years old, we’re small and niche. Our website offers hundreds of chalets, apartments and penthouses throughout Europe and users can customise their search. Every booking comes with a concierge service to ensure all of their additional needs (transfer, catering, restaurant and activity bookings etc) are all in place prior to arrival.
Properties are placed in 3 categories:
- ULTIMATE – These are the ultimate chalets which include multiple members of staff, spas, swimming pools, saunas, cinema rooms, 24hr in-resort chauffeur service and a gourmet chef serving the finest of meals.
- LUXURY – These are the 5-star luxury chalets and penthouses which include staff, leisure amenities and possible catering options. They are all amazing properties but just fall slightly short of an ultimate rental.
- 4* LUX – These are the more basic properties for those looking for luxury with a smaller budget. They include apartments, penthouses and chalets and may include shared leisure amenities or a single private leisure amenity. The majority of these properties are self-catered but may include some B&B options.
AeroCloud is an airport management platform startup that was founded in Macclesfield in 2019 and essentially puts data analytics into the hands of all airport stakeholders for real-time decision-making.
In the 21st century, your airport operations should be lean, agile, and accurate. Your processes and software shouldn’t slow you down or stop you from getting up from your desk to deal with what’s important. AeroCloud gets your airport operations to where you want them.
In March it secured Series A funding and the same month, it launched an industry-first computer vision solution that solves the decades-old problem of tracking passengers as they travel from kerb to gate.