Travel startup Bookaway secures $35 million in funding after bouncing back from Covid-19 crisis
The Israeli company downsized its staff at the start of the pandemic but now plans to scale up the operation of its road-travel booking platform
Bookaway, which developed a road-travel booking platform for local transportation, has secured $35 million in Series B funding, backed by global investors Aleph, Corner Ventures, Entrée Capital, and a group of angels led by Elad Kushnir.
Bookaway’s platform allows travelers to search, compare and book bus, ferry and train tickets around the world, while also offering transportation operators to manage day-to-day operations.
Bookaway co-founders Omer Chehmer (Left) Noam Toister, and David Yitzhaki Photo: Irad Netzer
The company was founded in 2017 by CEO Noam Toister, Jonathan Bensaid, CMO David Yitzhaki, and COO Omer Chehmer. It has grown to operate in Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Central America, with further plans to expand in the American, Chinese and Latin American markets. This round is the company’s third following an $11m Seed and Series A funding raised since 2018.
Bookaway is expected to utilize the new funds to continue fueling growth, with acquisition possibilities on the table. Bookaway’s fundraising efforts might seem even more impressive when considering that only a little over a year ago the company was cutting salaries and firing employees due to the global pandemic.
“Currently 95% of the ground transportation industry is offline, meaning travelers waste precious time and money trying to navigate their journey on the ground, having booked their flights, hotel, and experiences online,” Toister, the company’s CEO and co-founder commented. “Local transport suppliers are being left behind the rest of the travel industry.”
Michael Eisenberg, co-founder of Aleph added that “the Bookaway founders have impressed us from the beginning, not only with their ingenuity but also with their passion and values. Humble and resilient in the midst of a global pandemic, the trio presented a map that no one in the travel industry has described before, particularly for the harder-to-reach areas of the world. They help people to see more parts of the world, experience different cultures, meet different people, and ultimately be better humans.”