PickYourTrail, a travel tech startup that helps travellers plan and book multi-country vacations online, has raised close to $3 million (Rs 21 crore at current exchange rates) in its Series A funding round, a company statement said.
The round was led by Kumar Vembu, co-founder of software-as-a-service (SaaS) major Zoho, and Shyam Sekhar, founder of financial advisory firm iThought.
Rajagopal Subramanian, the chief information officer of Entrust Family Office Investment Advisors, and Girish Mathrubootham, co-founder and chief executive of Freshworks had also participated in the round.
The company will use the fresh capital for product innovation, branding and to hire tech talent. It will also invests in scaling up its proprietary technology platform, the statement added.
Owned and operated by Travel Troops Global Pvt. Ltd., PickYourTrail allows travellers to plan, view real time prices and instantly book vacations online to over 200 cities across the globe.
The startup’s proprietary comfort score algorithm takes into account over 40 factors like duration, travel time, and ratings to build personalised itineraries that travellers can further customise and book. Post booking, travellers can use its app to keep track of reservations, get real time information on flight and weather updates, restaurant recommendations and on-trip chat support.
Founded by Hari Ganapathy and Srinath Shankar in 2014, PickYourTrail claims to have served over 10,000 travellers who have planned trips to over 200 cities using its self-service platform.
“I believe that our algorithms across personalisation, routing and price matching are industry-first in their approach and output. Our end goal is to make PickYourTrail synonymous with customised international vacations and this round is a great stepping stone in that direction,” Shankar said.
Deals in the space
A number of ventures in the larger online travel technology segment have secured funding recently.
Travel technology firm Guiddoo World Travels Pvt. Ltd has raised $800,000 in an extended pre-Series A round of funding from three individual investors in December last year.
In October 2018, tour operator Thomas Cook (India) Ltd had agreed to pick up a 24% stake in Mumbai-based Traveljunkie Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which runs Ithaka, an app offering chat-based real-time travel advice from destination experts.
In the same month last year, TravelTriangle, an online marketplace for holiday packages, raised $3 million (around Rs 22 crore at current exchange rates) in venture debt from InnoVen Capital. It had raised $12 million (Rs 78 crore) in a Series C round of funding led by growth-capital firm Fundamentum Partnership in April 2018.
In August 2018, WoVoyage, a travel startup for women, secured seed funding from Singapore-based investors Shabir Momin and Rohit Nanda.