Startups creating solutions to make travel more efficient, frictionless and interconnected received a record amount of venture capital funding in 2017: At $25.45 billion, it was a substantial 32% increase over investments made in 2016.
And the 2018 figure could be even higher. An analysis by Lufthansa Innovation Hub found that funding in the first two months of 2018 reached more than $6.5 billion across 76 deals – a pace that could bring a new record by the end of the year.
These early year investments also signal another trend – mega-rounds of more than $100 million are becoming the norm in the travel and mobility technology sector. And most of the money is funneling to late-stage startups rather than angel and seed-funding rounds.
Investors are showing increasing preference for travel and mobility tech startups based in China and India. In 2017, 70% of global venture capital funding went to companies based in one of those two countries, while just 23% went to companies based in the United States and 3% to Europe.
That’s a dramatic change from just three years earlier when Chinese and Indian companies attracted just 14% of the total funding for the year, and 68% went to US-based startups.
In addition, 12 of the world’s 22 most valuable travel and mobility startups are from Asia.
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