The evidence is clear: Times of crisis expose opportunities to
take risks, to fix what is broken and to test new concepts.
Today, less than four years after the COVID-19 pandemic emerged
and devastated the travel industry and the world at large, this industry is
reaping the benefits of the innovations that were born during those dark days.
Our selections for the Hot 25 Travel Startups for 2024,
sponsored by Allianz Partners US, provides evidence of this dynamic.
Eight of the 25 companies we are recognizing were founded in
2020, with another five founded in 2021 and four in 2022.
Our selection process begins with an ongoing, year-round
effort to find early-stage startups doing work across every sector of travel
and in every corner of the globe.
Then we begin the complex task of narrowing down the list –
which this year began with more than 150 startups to consider.
Along with evaluating the contenders based on the strength
of their innovation and their potential to grow, we also look for diversity in
sector, location and founders.
Analysis of past selections
One hundred and twenty-five companies have previously been
selected for the Hot 25 over the past five years (not including 2024).
Cumulatively, this group of companies has raised $2.2 billion in funding.
Seventy-four percent of the companies operate primarily on a B2B
basis, and they have raised 56% of all funding. Twenty percent primarily serve
the air vertical, 18% work in the hotel & hostel vertical, 11% are in
short-term rentals, 10% in corporate travel, 6% span multiple verticals and
another 6% are in tours and activities.
Fifty-three percent of the companies are based in North America,
while 33% are headquartered in Europe, 8% in Asia Pacific and the rest in the
Middle East, South America and Africa.
Twelve of the companies have been acquired, three have closed and
one merged (Setoo – 2020 selection – with Pattern Insurance).
Phocuswright research clients can look up more details on these
companies in The
Travel Startups Interactive Database by using the “PhocusWire Hot 25
The class of 2024
For each of the companies on this year’s list, we are sharing details provided to us by the founders in their own words – a description of the company, strategic goals for 2024 and lessons learned since founding. We’ve also included links to PhocusWire’s past coverage of these startups, as applicable.
Click on the company names below for details about each startup, what they have been doing and what they plan to do in the coming year.
*We would like to thank Phocuswright manager for research and innovation Mike Coletta for help with selecting the startups and the data analysis above.