Dublin-based ROVE, a cloud-based booking technology for the adventure and experience-based travel sector, has closed an early seed round led by Zoosh Ventures and Enterprise Ireland. The investment will position ROVE to take advantage of a growing market segment following the lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions.
ROVE was founded in 2019 by Brian Kearney, former Head of Digital at Fitbit, to make active and experience-based travel more readily accessible. As travellers move further away from traditional city-breaks due to social distancing norms, adventure and nature-based travel is on the rise. This valuable new tourist segment is set to become the ‘new normal’ for travel experiences.
Brian Kearney, CEO of ROVE, said: “There are significant shifts in what consumers want out of a holiday today. Tourists want to go beyond gazing out of a tourist bus and actually spend time exploring a destination. Activities such as hiking, biking, rafting and diving while on holiday have all exploded in popularity in recent years.’’
Zoosh Ventures, Managing Partner, Bert Farrell is joining the ROVE board of directors as part of this financing. Farrell said: “The market potential for ROVE is enormous. The global market for travel activities is growing faster than any other segment of the travel industry. As we start to see this market shifting towards online and mobile bookings it becomes an exciting opportunity. With this new round of funding, and technical support from Zoosh, ROVE will come out of this period of unprecedented disruption with a stronger platform for growth”.
ROVE was recently recognised as an Enterprise Ireland High-Potential Start-Up (HPSU), with Enterprise Ireland participating in this funding round with a €200K investment.
Niall McEvoy, High Potential Start-Ups ICT Manager, Enterprise Ireland said: “ROVE is a progressive early-stage travel tech company focused on the growing and underserved adventure tourism sector. The travel tech sector has been deeply impacted by the current crisis, but it is important for Enterprise Ireland that we continue to support innovation in the sector to help early stage companies position for recovery in this key technology vertical. We are delighted to support the company in developing the technology and building their team as they start to scale the business globally”.