iNovia Capital leads $8 mln Series A financing of SnapTravel


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Hotel booking service SnapTravel has secured US$8 million in a Series A financing. Canadian venture capital firm iNovia Capital led the round and was joined by existing backers Lightbank, Bee Partners and Hedgewood, as well as strategic investor Peter Kern. Founded in 2016 by CEO Hussein Fazal and CTO Henry Shi, both serial entrepreneurs, SnapTravel uses natural language processing and machine learning to help users of its service find and book a hotel room over SMS texts and Facebook Messenger. It plans to use the funds raised to further develop its technology, hire engineers and fuel growth. SnapTravel has offices in Toronto and San Francisco.

PRESS RELEASE

SnapTravel raises $8M Series A to accelerate lead in conversational commerce

Company led by repeat tech entrepreneurs and ex-google engineers

July 24th, 2017

TORONTO, Canada – SnapTravel announced today an $8M Series A round led by iNovia Capital. SnapTravel allows users to find and book the perfect hotel room over SMS and Facebook Messenger.

The funding was led by iNovia – an active investor in the conversational commerce space and the travel vertical. The round also included strong participation from existing investors Lightbank, Bee Partners, and Hedgewood – as well as strategic investor Peter Kern who has been on the board of Expedia since 2005.

“We are still in the early days of conversational commerce,” said SnapTravel CEO Hussein Fazal. “But the trend is growing. Users want to chat with businesses, conduct commerce, and get things done within messaging apps – where they already spend most of their time.”

In order to surface the best hotel recommendations for a user – SnapTravel uses a combination of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML). The funding will be used to double down on technology and to fuel growth.

“At SnapTravel, we are building world-class NLP and machine learning models to truly understand our customer’s intent and to provide them with the best recommendations” said SnapTravel CTO Henry Shi. “Users can express complex preferences and constraints over a simple text or voice message and our bot is able to surface the best hotels based on those preferences”

Learn more about SnapTravel’s journey by reading the full story here.

ABOUT SNAPTRAVEL
SnapTravel is the leader in conversational commerce – allowing users to book a hotel room over SMS and Facebook Messenger. SnapTravel was co-founded by repeat tech entrepreneurs Hussein Fazal & Henry Shi. Hussein previously built AdParlor (>$100M revenue Facebook Advertising business) which was acquired by AdKnowledge. Henry previously built uMentioned and was an engineer at Google that helped launch YouTube Music Insights.

Photo courtesy of Alija/E+/Getty Images