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31 January 2020

17 Travel Tech startups in the UK

Forward-thinking entrepreneurs are revolutionising the way people travel, using AI, developing sophisticated tech solutions and re-thinking the way we think about travelling and booking holidays. Here's a selection of innovative UK traveltech companies to watch in 2020.

Duffel is the most powerful and intuitive travel tech tools for starting a travel business. Duffel help businesses of every size to provide fantastic and smooth flight booking experiences to their customers. Their tools enable you to search, book and manage flights from across more than 18 airlines through one single platform. They help businesses of every size to provide fantastic flight booking experiences to their customers.

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Onefinestay could be seen as the luxury Airbnb. The company opens doors to the finest homes in the most exceptional destinations and delivers unique experiences to both guests and homeowners around the world. Onefinestay launched in London in 2010 and became part of Accor in 2016. With each memorable stay, onefinestay delivers a level of personal service and professional hospitality that is truly ‘one of a kind’ in the private rental industry, and a gem in the travel tech sector.

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Citymapper makes cities massively more manageable through its data-driven travel tech app. Headquartered in London, Citymapper is a small and humble team with backgrounds in transport, Google, startups, apps, design, investment and academia. They aim to solve everyday problems that can genuinely improve the quality of people’s lives and the way they navigate cities. They aim to make the complex simple, with an intuitive user experience, ability to analyse data carefully and have a commitment to understanding their users’ expectations.

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Stasher has become the global sharing economy and travel tech platform for luggage storage with the simple understanding that people don’t want to drag their suitcases around a city when they just have a few hours before moving on. By working with an international network of hotels and retailers (indeed anywhere with some with extra space), travellers can find affordable and convenient storage for their luggage. Similar to hotel check-in, Stasher has partners like Premier Inn, Accor or and provides quick and easy storage worldwide. Stasher has won multiple awards and is one of London’s fastest-growing startups.

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The Plum Guide started by creating the Plum Test, the world’s most intensive hospitality test to be sure that their listings are truly special. The Plum Guide, therefore, offers only the very best accommodation and positions itself as a pioneer in luxury travel and travel tech. If a home has passed the 150-point Plum Test, it means the property offers beautifully designed spaces, special amenities (fast WiFi, quality linens, fluffy towels, well-stocked kitchens), and that neighbours are well connected for exploring the city. Plum Guide offers the most exquisite city homes in London, Los Angeles, Milan, New York, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Copenhagen, Madrid and Lisbon.

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Victor is an award-winning, one of a kind private jet charter service, that makes each and every journey unique and serves 40,000 destinations. Victor makes booking private jets easy, offering on-demand, in-app booking with no upfront costs and your own private flight concierge. With their ‘free to use, free to choose’ marketplace, clients have access to the widest range of private jets so that they can fly exactly when, where and how they want.

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Founded by Arnaud Bertrand and Junjun Chen, went live in January 2010. Today, they are one of the world’s largest holiday rental travel tech sites. For the price of a small, low-budget hotel room, guests can instead have an entire house, apartment, castle, boat… They offer a selection of over 300,000 quality properties in thousands of destinations around the globe. HouseTrip’s concept is to get people to have an authentic taste of the neighbourhood, the city and country without the cost. Booking a holiday with HouseTrip means experiencing a destination like a local; trying local restaurants and seeing things that the average tourist would never see.

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Have you seen The Holiday? This sums up nicely the simple concept behind Love Home Swap. They help travellers enjoy their holidays through sharing. You choose where you want to go and the property you want to stay in, then ‘swap’ (directly with the owner or through a Swap Points system). Then you can just sit back and enjoy hassle-free holidays without the huge accommodation bill. With access to thousands of great quality properties around the world, there’s something to suit everyone’s taste and style… although meeting Jude Law is not guaranteed.

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Founded in 2017, offers 2,000,000+ hotels and accommodation covering 90,000+ destinations in 230 countries. The startup aims to be 15% cheaper than the rest of the market. When booking accommodation on the website travellers can pay using different cryptocurrencies in addition to credit/debit cards and they earn valuable rewards with each booking.


Zamna is a multi-award-winning software company building GDPR compliant identity platforms for the aviation industry. Zamna empowers airlines to verify a passenger’s identity prior to arriving at an airport thus positively impacting both the passenger experience and security. Recognised by airlines, technology experts and investors as playing an integral part in the future of identity management within airlines, Zamna addresses the challenges posed by ever-increasing numbers of airline passengers, privacy regulations, customer experience and security.

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Founded in 2009 by Aaron Gowell and Will Phillipson in London, SilverRail delivers the digital infrastructure for the global rail industry. Their highly innovative product spans the full customer journey with an emphasis on user experience: journey planning, ground transportation services, inventory management, scheduling, pricing, booking, payment, ticketing, reporting and administration. Every year, more than 1 billion online rail searches are being made. SilverRail distributes tickets for more than 35 providers and carriers, processes more than 30 million bookings each year and serves more than 1,500 corporate customers worldwide. In June 2017, Expedia acquired a majority stake in SilverRail.

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LuckyTrip is a travel inspiration app that lets travellers and explorers find a trip in one tap, by setting a budget and letting the button decide where to go. The smart app shows the cheapest flights from Skyscanner as well as the best places to stay from LuckyTrip selects unique things to do and enables the users to save their trips, share them with friends and book from their smartphone.

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Zeelo is a personalised bus service on a mission to make shared transport a viable and safe alternative to travel by car. The startup focuses on the peri-urban mobility market (up to 100km) tackling the growing challenges associated with reliance on private car transportation. Zeelo calculated that every journey takes 30 cars off the road and does therefore offer a sustainable alternative to transport. Their valuable data allows them to serve routes that traditional operators can’t reach.


Seatfrog lets you upgrade to first-class for less. The company provide passengers on the go with a seamless experience to maximise ancillary revenue. Seatfrog is working with innovative partners from the travel industry to redefine and eliminate the painful extra and additional costs involved in travel today. Seatfrog delivers a unique revenue performance by using data science to upsell while delivering an  personalised customer experience and full automation from booking to departure.

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Culture Trip is a global startup operating in travel, media and entertainment. The company creates stories that reveal what is special and unique about a place, its people and its culture. Their creative and editorial teams work with a global network of freelance creatives to tell location-specific stories with articles, videos, photography, illustrations and animations. Culture Trip wants to inspire people to plan their trips, go beyond their cultural boundaries and connect with the world around them.

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NAVA creates immersive city experiences and has successfully launched across Europe, by combining accurate recommendations using machine learning, with a genuine storybook experience. By analysing behavioural and geospatial data at a granular level, NAVA helps locals and travellers unlock the city while providing businesses, chefs, designers and more, with an insight into who their customers are and why and when they’re visiting. Their vision is to reinvent the way consumers discover a city. To do so, NAVA creates immersive and personalised experiences which makes the digital and physical worlds meet halfway and develops real-time digital avatars around destinations, activities and behaviours.

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Houst offers hosting and opens a world of opportunity. The company’s vision aims to give people more freedom anywhere in the world. In this era of opportunity, home can be more than just bricks, mortar, and a mortgage. People can host, and their home can earn that round-the-world trip, the time to pursue their passion, and the chance to start their own business. Houst will support maintenance, advise on pricing and help maximise occupancy, too. So far they’ve managed 250,000 bookings across five continents, and have been defining great, modern hosting since 2015. They now took over Hostmaker’s customers too since Hostmaker entered administration at the end of February 2020.

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