HomeFundingLondon-based Byway raises €5.9 million Series A to make flight-free travel the...

London-based Byway raises €5.9 million Series A to make flight-free travel the new standard

Byway, a travel tech startup and B Corporation championing flight-free travel, has raised €5.9 million in an oversubscribed Series A funding round led by Heartcore Capital, with participation from Eka Ventures and re-investing Byway angels. The funds will be used to accelerate the development of Byway’s unique journey-planning technology, JourneyAI, and to fuel its expansion into new regions.

As the demand for sustainable travel continues to grow (76% want to travel more sustainably 1 and 47% plan to fly less 2), Byway is pushing for making flight-free holidays mainstream. Since its launch in March 2020, Byway has grown three times year-on-year. With an average carbon saving of 718kg per trip, Byway’s customers have saved 3,045 tonnes of carbon vs flying (equivalent to 18,270 trees).

The recent funding from Heartcore Capital is very important for Byway, as the VC invests in tech companies the likes of GetYourGuide, Travelperk, and Fora. They are also happy to welcome Eka Ventures, which focuses on sustainable consumption. Re-investing Byway angels include the HERmesa angel syndicate, the impact investor Julia Davies, and Susan Hooper, former SAGA CEO.

With the new investment, Byway also plans to expand its team and keep developing its flight-free travel technology. Over the coming months, Byway will launch roles in tech, product, finance, business development and customer support.

“It was a delight to experience such overwhelming interest from investors enthusiastic about the future of flight-free travel when raising our Series A. I’m thrilled that in Heartcore and Eka we’ve found partners who believe in the joy of journey-based holidays and the potential of JourneyAI to change travel for the better,” said Cat Jones, CEO and Founder of Byway.

Byway’s JourneyAI technology is one of the world’s first 100% flight-free holiday planner. It integrates transport and accommodation data with expert place- and journey-based content into a smart dynamic packaging engine that designs multi-stop, personalised trips away from tourist hotspots. JourneyAI optimises trips for enjoyment rather than speed, enriching holiday experiences for travellers and making the journey part of the trip instead of a means to an end.

Max Niederhofer, General Partner of Heartcore Capital, added: “Heartcore has been investing in world-class founders building the future of travel for over a decade. We felt called to support Byway’s mission to make tourism both more fulfilling and sustainable, and believe that its technology will become a key pillar for the next generation of online travel. We are thrilled to be supporting another world-class European team in travel and particularly love Byway’s collaborative, supportive, and holistic mission-driven culture.”

Stefano De Marzo
Stefano De Marzo
Stefano De Marzo is the Head of News at EU-Startups. He has been extensively covering startups, venture capital and innovation ecosystems, including contributions to numerous publications such as Sifted, Entrepreneur and Forbes. Through his work as an editor and writer, he continues to shape the narrative surrounding the best stories of the tech world.
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