This list is Skift’s first attempt at spotlighting the most impressive new or little-known travel startups worldwide. (It’s also our first shot at trolling Silicon Valley.)
We are drawing on the knowledge we have gained through five years of coverage of hundreds of newly launched travel companies.
Our list of 17 top startups in 2017 spotlights a mix of consumer and business-to-business models, with a few that derive revenue from both.
Some of these companies are profitable. Most aren’t. We believe all of them address problems that are legitimate enough that customers will pay for their solutions, in due course, and that their number of potential customers is large.
We are avoiding companies that are well-known through splashy and expensive marketing. To help with that, we only include startups that have raised less than $15 million in funding.
Other factors we keep in mind: We want companies whose core teams have strong technical and commercial skills. We are excluding companies that — however young, smart, and profitable — aren’t likely to rapidly scale up revenues at a faster rate than costs.
We feel this list is fairly representative of the industry innovation that travelers will benefit from soon. Click here to keep reading.
LocusLabs, the leading indoor mapping & location platform in the travel industry, has announced a $3.5 million Series A round and has brought its indoor Street View-Like technology to over 70 airports worldwide. Investors in the round include SITA, the leading specialist in air transport communications and information technology, and Acorn Pacific Ventures of Silicon Valley.
LocusLabs’ platform launched in late 2015 and is already fueling millions of airport passenger experiences in over a dozen of the world’s largest airline and airport apps including American Airlines, United Airlines, Lufthansa, JetBlue and Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, and most recently launching with Delta’s FlyDelta app. The platform for mobile, web, and on-premise integrates a rich location experience into existing applications boasting 90 million combined downloads and growing.
APEX Insight: LocusLabs is powering the new Fly Delta app with its LocusMaps wayfinding functionality, which helps travelers find what they’re looking for – even when offline. Campbell Kennedy, CEO and co-founder of LocusLabs, guides APEX Media through the ins and outs of the technology, which allows passengers to know their destination airport like the back of their hand before they land.
Delta Air Lines has unveiled the newest version of its Fly Delta iPhone app, which features LocusLabs’ indoor mapping and turn-by-turn airport navigation to help passengers quickly find what they’re looking for. The app currently offers mapping for 13 US airports, including San Francisco and John F. Kennedy international airports, as well as Heathrow and Narita airports. Five more airports will be added this spring, including Charles de Gaulle, São Paulo–Guarulhos and Shanghai Pudong international airports. Click here to keep reading.
Delta app continues leading industry with fully integrated airport wayfinding maps, bolstered reliability
It’s 8:03 a.m. You dozed off and missed the in-flight beverage service – you had been looking forward to grabbing a Starbucks onboard. You’re on approach to CVG, an airport you’ve only been to a few times, and wonder, “What are the chances there’s a Starbucks on the way to get my bags?” Thankfully, you updated your iPhone with the latest version of the Fly Delta app featuring airport wayfinding maps. You access it, tap on the “CVG” on your boarding pass, and up pops the CVG airport map where you search “Starbucks.” There are four – and one is near your arrival gate!
Delta on Wednesday released the latest version of its Fly Delta app, giving customers access to the industry’s most innovative airport wayfinding maps, and the ability to keep up with boarding pass and flight details, even when a reliable Wi-Fi or cellular connection isn’t available.
The wayfinding tool features interactive maps for 20 major airports – including the airline’s hubs – and guides customers with turn-by-turn walking directions to their next gate, a restaurant or even baggage claim. Delta is the only airline to give customers the ability to access airport maps on iPhone via their boarding pass by touching the departure city code, arrival city code or gate numbers, and through My Trips, Flight Status and the “More” section.
Airport maps included are: ATL, BOS, CVG, DCA, DTW, JFK, LAX, LGA, LHR, MCO, MSP, NRT, SEA, SFO and SLC. This spring the app also will include maps for AMS, CDG, GRU, MEX and PVG. Click here to continue reading.
Maurice Jenkins, Director, Information Systems, Miami International Airport (MIA) talks about the new app MIA has developed to create a personalized experience for the passenger covering the entire airport and what the future holds. Click here for the entire article
Kayak is already great for exploring excellent flight deals, but the app recently made some upgrades to help travelers after they book flights, too. Their app now includes maps for 34 major airports in the U.S., including turn-by-turn directions. Click here to keep reading
If you’re lucky, an airport does one thing really well. Maybe it has painless security. Or robot assistants. Even just free Wi-Fi. Now imagine if every part of the experience was optimized for ultimate efficiency. We searched terminals around the world for the smartest innovations and mashed them all up into one. At this Frankenport, you might even want to show up early. Click here to keep reading.
SparkLabs venture has opened its Internet of Things accelerator program with 14 startups from six countries.
LocusLabs (San Francisco, Calif.)
LocusLabs provides the platform and tools that enable apps to be location-aware on a micro level. LocusLabs is going a level deeper than existing mapping solutions by not only mapping places, but also people, products, and things, using technology that scales. LocusLabs’ mission is to provide an easy-to-use platform that allows enterprises to manage and publish geospatial data to any device, while providing tools that make it possible for anyone to build and use geospatial applications. Click here to read more
APEX Insight: Travelers roaming through the terminals of McCarran International Airport can now find the most direct route to their boarding gate or the California Pizza Kitchen with LocusLabs’ blue-dot navigation available through American Airlines’ mobile application. Click here to read more