Japan’s Matsuri Raises $16 Million for Short-Term Rentals: Travel Startup

Skift Take

This week’s set of freshly funded travel startups hail from Japan, Denmark, India, Iceland, and elsewhere.

Sean O’Neill

This week, travel startups announced more than $40 million in funding.

>>Matsuri Technologies, a startup that converts vacant accommodation into short-term rental stays, has raised about $16 million (2 billion yen) in a Series C round of funding.

Investors include DG Incubation, JIC Venture Growth Investments, six major real estate companies, among others.

Matsuri’s StayX platform aims to efficiently manage properties so that guests can check in and check out with just a smartphone. Stays typically range from one night to one month.

There’s a corporate serviced apartment brand, too, called StayMe, and an island resort brand called S-Villa.

>>Minut, a company that provides monitoring technology to help hosts and property managers care for short-term rentals and vacation home guests, closed a $14 million Series B round.

Almaz Capital led the round. Other investors joined, including Zenith, Kompas, Verve Ventures, Swiss Immo Lab, Karma, SOSV’s HAX, and KPN Ventures.

Minut provides sensors that track noise, occupancy, motion, and temperature in short-term rental properties. The startup is a recommended partner of Airbnb.

“Minut has played a vital role in helping us deliver an automated tech-enabled hospitality experience,‍” said Yvette Romero, director of strategic product initiatives at Kasa Living, a provider of apartments and hotel rooms for short-term and medium-term stays.

>>Glimpse, which helps brands launch product placement campaigns in more than 8,000 short-term rentals, closed a seed funding round of $6.2 million.

GSR Ventures, Origin Ventures, Y Combinator, and angel investors took part.

“Short-term rentals provide the perfect environment for customer engagement, as guests can truly experience these products in their intended setting,” said Akash Raju, co-founder and CEO.

Items include bedding, consumer electronics, beauty, kitchen, home office accessories, fitness gear, and furniture.

>>Dohop, an Iceland-based travel technology firm, raised a “multi-million euro” growth equity round from Scottish Equity Partners (SEP).

The Iceland-based company helps more than 50 carriers, including AirTransat, EasyJet, Latam, and Vueling, increase bookings by creating connections with other carriers via virtual interlining and intermodal.

“Our technology enables partnerships between airlines and offers passengers more destinations and travel customization,” said CEO David Gunnarsson.

>>Landfolk, which helps people book 354 summer holiday homes in Denmark, has raised an unspecified “seven-figure pre-seed financing.”

Heartland, a Danish venture fund, led the round in the company founded last year by a team of seven ex-Airbnb employees. Christian Schwarz Lausten, who sold his company Gaest.com to Airbnb in 2019, is CEO of the startup.

>>Cemtiva Factory, which hopes to derive sustainable aviation fuel from carbon dioxide, received an undisclosed sum of investment from United’s corporate venture capital fund, United Airlines Ventures (UAV).

>>Sprokets, which aims to improve hiring for hourly workers, closed a $10 million Series A financing round. It’s not a travel startup, but Thayer Ventures, which typically invests in travel startups, is a minority investor — partly given the startup’s potential uses in the travel sector. The startup provides a structured, online format to help employers sort and filter the best candidates.

>>Pickyourtrail, a startup in Chennai that uses artificial intelligence to assist with travel planning, has raised “an undisclosed amount” of bridge funding from a group of investors, according to The Economic Times. The startup raised $3 million in 2019, Skift reported.

>>Uplisting, the all-in-one property management solution for short-term rentals raised $300,000 from Calm Company Fund, plus $200,000 via the AngelList Roll Up Vehicle.

Company Stage Lead Raise
Matsuri Technologies Series C DG Incubation $16 million
Minut Series B Almaz Capital $14 million
Glimpse Seed N/A $6.2 million
Dohop Growth SEP Undisclosed
Landfolk Pre-seed Angels Undisclosed
Cemtiva Factory Seed N/A Undisclosed
Pickyourtrail Bridge N/A Undisclosed
Uplisting Seed Calm Company Fund $300,000

Skift Cheat Sheet

Seed capital is money used to start a business, often led by angel investors and friends or family.

Series A financing is typically drawn from venture capitalists. The round aims to help a startup’s founders make sure that their product is something that customers truly want to buy.

Series B financing is mainly about venture capitalist firms helping a company grow faster. These fundraising rounds can assist in recruiting skilled workers and developing cost-effective marketing.

Series C financing is ordinarily about helping a company expand, such as through acquisitions. In addition to VCs, hedge funds, investment banks, and private equity firms often participate.

Series D, E, and, beyond These mainly mature businesses and the funding round may help a company prepare to go public or be acquired. A variety of types of private investors might participate.