Gas Prices Are High, But VC Interest in Travel-Related Startups Is Still Strong

By Joanna Glasner — 5 years ago

With gas prices at multi-year highs, long-distance travel is getting less affordable than it’s been for a while. But that apparently hasn’t lessened venture interest in startups in the space.

There were two travel-related funding announcements so far this week., an online hotel booking service for Russians traveling abroad, raised $5 million from Mangrove Capital Partners, ABRT and French fund Ventech VC. Meanwhile, London-based HouseTrip, which specializes in short-term apartment bookings for travelers, raised $2.7 million in a Series A funding round from Index Ventures. (See a list of half a dozen other recent fundings on the jump.)

Those were smaller deals. But with vacation home rental site HomeAway in the pipeline for an IPO, it’s now possible to get a glimpse of larger numbers in a fast-growing space. (HomeAway, which is seeking to raise $230 million in its public offering, had revenue of $153 million and net income of $17 million last year.) Additionally, the recent viral growth of Airbnb, a site for arranging short-term stays in accommodations, ranging from living room futons