6. Some alternative accommodation providers pivot to long-term stays to adapt to current demand
Consumers needing homes to live and work in safely during the current crisis are searching for and booking stays for longer durations. Some short-term stay providers are pivoting to try to capture some of this demand; monthly rental marketplaces like Anyplace
are in a good position to capitalize on this; they’ve seen inquiries from potential property partners increase more than 50% as a result of CV19. Read more - PhocusWire
7. Global Travel e-Conference on April 22-23
Impressive lineup of speakers and a packed agenda addressing a variety of topics such as global air travel, self-service during mass cancellations, how to work with VCs in a downturn, building a crisis resilient brand, innovation in travel, the state of travel startups and hot segments to watch, selling into the US corporate travel market, distribution as a service, etc… Check out the speakers, topics, agenda and sign-up to attend (free). More info
8. Crowdfunded guidance for startups and entrepreneurs
JetBlue Technology Ventures has assembled a crowdsourced list
of resources, guidance, and information for startups and entrepreneurs to reference as they navigate COVID-19. It includes sections such as loans & financial relief guidance, layoff and talent resources, VC insights and startup insights.
9. OTAs move to secure cash to weather the storm
Airbnb secured a $1 billion five-year loan from a group including Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners, a week after raising $1 billion in debt and equity from both investors, including warrants convertible into shares with a valuation of $18 billion (Airbnb’s last round in 2017 valued it at $31 billion). The loan comes with a 11%-12% return. Booking Holdings, meanwhile, went back into the debt markets to raise a combined $4 billion due between 2025 and 2030 at an interest rate of around 4% (Reuters
). An FT story
estimated that Booking has around $8.5bn in cash — about four times the amount of Expedia and Airbnb. The vast majority of Booking customers pay when they reach their hotel (unlike Airbnb and Expedia). This means it has not suffered the same cash outflow as consumers claim refunds.
10. Relevant startups for the new normal of travel
Face++ is a Chinese company which empowers infrared cameras with computer vision technologies for rapid deployment at airports and subway stations in China to detect and track individuals with fever. This allows staff to complete all body temperature screenings without close physical contact, thus reducing the chances of contagion.
- Consumers will demand more control on travel insurance, as well as better customer service in times of crisis. Setoo’s insurance‐as‐a‐service platform provides insurance and protection products that are personalized, fully automated, easy to understand, with claim‐free compensation in response to pre‐defined triggers.
- Denver-based GeoSure has created a highly scaled, realtime, hyper-local safety information covering tens of thousands of neighborhoods across every major city. GeoSafeScores provides risk awareness information covering six critical safety categories, including Disease & Medical.