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Startups Raise $331 Million for Flying Taxi Airports and More

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Last week was the second-biggest this year for travel startup funding. And this week’s total, $331 million, makes it the third-biggest this year.

The largest fundraise this week was by expense-management platform Ramp, which has now raised $450 million over the past eight months alone.

Read more below about the three startups that announced fundraises this week.

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Ramp: $150 Million

Ramp, a platform that helps companies manage expenses including travel, has raised $150 million in a series D-2 funding round at a valuation of $7.65 billion.

The New York City-based company in August 2023 raised a $300 million series D round at a valuation of $5.8 billion, co-led by Thrive Capital and Sands Capital.

Khosla Ventures and Founders Fund co-led the latest round, with support from new investors Sequoia Capital, Greylock, and 8VC, along with existing investors Thrive Capital, General Catalyst, Sands Capital, D1 Capital Partners, Lux Capital, Iconiq Capital, Definition Capital, and Contrary Capital.

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The company last year launched Ramp for Travel through partnerships with corporate travel agencies TravelPerk and Flight Centre’s Corporate Traveler, as well as Lyft and WeWork. The idea is that through tech integrations with these agencies, Ramp automatically collects receipts from any bookings, removing the need to submit expenses. 

The travel platform also integrates each client’s travel policies and provides their employees with corporate cards, which are embedded with controls and limits on flights, hotels, and more.

Ramp said it released more than 150 new features in 2023, including an integration with Uber for Business, making it easier for users to expense rides and food deliveries through Uber. 

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Ramp said it has 25,000 clients. That number last August was 15,000. 

The latest funding will go toward strengthening the tech product, including adding features for AI-powered automation, spending analytics, and more. 

Skyports: $110 Million

Skyports, which is developing airports for flying taxis, has raised $110 million in series C funding. 

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ACS Group, the civil engineering and construction company, led the round and is now the startup’s largest investor. Airport operator Groupe ADP was another investor in the round.

London-based Skyports designs and plans to operate airports — known as “vertiports” — for the future industry of vertical take-off and landing aircrafts, which are usually built with electric or hybrid-electric propulsion. The startup also operates drone delivery services. 

Skyports earlier this year signed a deal with the Roads and Transport Authority of Dubai and the company Joby Aviation to design and operate a vertiport ahead of plans to begin air taxi services in Dubai by 2026. California-based Joby Aviation is designing an electric-powered aircraft with a top speed of 200 miles per hour, a maximum range of 150 miles, and space for a pilot and four passengers. 

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Skyports and Groupe ADP operate a site near Paris for testing flights, ground infrastructure, the passenger experience, and other operations. Skyports and Joby have a lab for developing tech and procedures of the future flying taxi industry. 

Skyports said it owns and operates one of London’s two commercial heliports, which it is also using for testing. 

Profitroom: $71.3 Million

Profitroom, a booking engine for hotels, has raised $71.3 million (€67 million).

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MCI Capital made the investment for a 65% stake in the company. 

Poland-based Profitroom said its software enables hotels to integrate guest booking capabilities onto their websites, as well as share availability with third-party booking sites and automate marketing. 

The Profitroom management team is unchanged following the deal, the company said. 

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The company plans to expand into Western Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia.

Company Stage Lead Raise
Ramp Series D-2 Khosla Ventures and Founders Fund $150 million
Skyports Series C ACS Group $110 million
Profitroom Unspecified MCI Capital $71.3 million

Skift Cheat Sheet

Seed capital is money used to start a business, often led by angel investors and friends or family.

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Series A financing is typically drawn from venture capitalists. The round aims to help a startup’s founders make sure that their product is something that customers truly want to buy.

Series B financing is mainly about venture capitalist firms helping a company grow faster. These fundraising rounds can assist in recruiting skilled workers and developing cost-effective marketing.

Series C financing is ordinarily about helping a company expand, such as through acquisitions. In addition to VCs, hedge funds, investment banks, and private equity firms often participate.

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Series D, E, and, beyond These mainly mature businesses and the funding round may help a company prepare to go public or be acquired. A variety of types of private investors might participate.

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