Paris-based Leavy.co, the first app designed to help millennials travel more for less, has raised €12.7 million, considered to be the largest ever seed funding round in travel tech worldwide.
One of Benelux’s largest VC investors, Prime Ventures, led the funding round, with additional participation from angel investor and partner at Index Ventures, Dominique Vidal, who has worked with some of the US and Europe’s biggest consumer internet companies. The deal was advised by Chausson Finance, the leading European fund-raising advisor for fast growing companies.
Millennials are the travel industry’s largest spenders, and Leavy.co wants to reinvent the way that they organize their trips. These tech-savvy, young adults prefer experiences over things, travel several times a year to visit friends and family, and sometimes choose to reside in more than one city. Although seemingly benefiting from the latest advances of the sharing economy, their lack of financial security – student loans and credit card debts – prevents them from accessing affordable apartments, flights and experiences.
Leavy.co believes this vicious cycle can be broken and believes that community is the answer. The Leavy.co travel and community-driven marketplace allows members to earn cash in several ways:
- As a “Happy Leaver” – members leave their apartment and start their getaway with 100% guaranteed cash, no matter if their apartment is booked or not
- As a “Host on Demand” – other local members take care of the Happy Leaver homes listed and show their city to “City Explorers”
- Plus, members can be rewarded in travel credit – called Leavy Coins – when they invite their friends to join, inspire others with tips, or post their favourite photos.
The startup was founded in 2018 after CEO Aziza Chaouachi decided to rent her Parisian flat on Airbnb, to cover the cost of her Eurolines tickets. What started as a student side-hustle rapidly snowballed into a network of +65,000 millennials, preparing apartments and hosting guests. The company has since grown +30% month-over-month, has +100 employees across 6 markets (Paris, Amsterdam, London, Madrid, Rome, Lisbon) and plan to open in the US by the end of 2019.
Pieter Welten, partner at Prime Ventures and Board Member at Leavy.co says: “Aziza has an exhilarating vision for the future of travel. What with a millennial community that is 100% self-managed, the social impact the company offers is both game-changing and very scalable. We couldn’t be more thrilled to back Leavy.co.”