TravelBird quits operations, fails to raise funds: The future of Dutch travel tech booking startups

TravelBird quits operations, fails to raise funds: The future of  Dutch travel tech booking startups

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In recent years, the travel booking space has grown into a huge market. The reason for this is the increased usage of the internet and technology. Several startups emerged in this segment in order to gain traction and make use of the opportunity. Dutch startup TravelBird is one such platform that brought in a revolution in the travel booking space.

Founded in 2010 by Dennis Klompalberts and Symen Jansma, the company has raised over €20 million till date before being forced to quit its operations recently.

TravelBird quits operations

Reportedly, Amsterdam-based online booking platform TravelBird has announced that it has suspended its operations and declared financial distress. The official website has posted a message stating that it has to quit its operations as it failed to attract further funding to pay its suppliers.

Translated from Dutch, this message reads, “TravelBird has grown explosively since its launch in 2010 and was profitable for the first time in the first half of 2018. Due to seasonal fluctuations, there has been a backlog in payments to partners in recent months and TravelBird has actively sought additional financing. Unfortunately, that did not succeed in time.”

“In the past 8 years, TravelBird has been able to inspire more than 7 million travellers with often special and personal travel experiences. TravelBird is always grateful to all travellers for having chosen TravelBird for all years.

“Thanks also to our intensively involved 310 employees and partners who have been busy all year for our travellers.”

Tipped at bankruptcy

Back in September this year, a Dutch business blog 925.nl’s Arno Wellens deciphered that TravelBird has been facing a huge negative operational margin. This was said to be mounted on the company that was already facing fierce losses. This tipped that TravelBird could file for bankruptcy as its losses are piling up. And, the company expressed its plans to go public hinting at an IPO plan though it was known that it needs more runway to go public.

What’s next?

Those who have already booked a holiday with TravelBird will supposedly be covered by SGR (Stitching Garantiefonds Reisgelden). SGR is an organisation guaranteeing travel booked through member firms. Its website warns customers that they shouldn’t proceed to make any further payments to TravelBird despite requests from the company. It also noted that these payments will not be guaranteed.

Travel booking is a huge market

With the growth in the internet and related technologies, online bookings have become a trend. Eventually, the travel booking has also taken the digital twist with many startups focusing on this business resulting in the rise in the online travel bookings. As there are many startups, the competition is also tough and everyone offers discounted pricing for their customers. This has made it tough for TravelBird to survive the competition.

Booking.com, the leading travel fare aggregator website, which manages hotel reservations transformed the hotel booking market on a global level. However, it started facing rivalry from budding platforms. One such hotel booking scaleup is Hotelchamp and it is driving growth in the direct hotel bookings, thereby grabbing the market share that Booking.com has been enjoying so long. However, it’s tough to predict that they’ll be able to beat the Dutch hotel booking giant in the market. Do share your opinion, in the comments section below.

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