MOSCOW — Travel startups are some of the most fun and easy-to-relate-to businesses for consumers because the desire to see new parts of the world is nearly universal.
Recent big activity in this space includes $25 million in funding for Russian travel site Ostrovok, $11 million in funding for Russian travel startup Oktogo, GetYourGuide’s acquisition of Gidsy, and the launch of clever flight-search site GetGoing.
Today at DEMO Europe in Moscow, two relatively young European travel-focused startups pitched to a room full of investors, technology players, and press about their products. And as you might expect, both of the companies have grand plans to make your travel experiences better.
First up is Munich-based Excursiopedia, a curated marketplace for events and things to do when you go on a trip. Both travelers and locals in cities across the world can use Excursiopedia to connect with guides and tour companies so they can book a unique experience.
This reminds of us a bit of another startup we’ve covered, New York City’s SideTour. But unlike SideTour, which only offers experiences in a few cities in the U.S, Excursiopedia offers experiences in cities all over the world. Listings are in 1,200 cities in 135 countries, and you can easily book the events on the site.
Onstage, Excursiopedia CEO Kirill Sermyagin (pictured, above) talked about the company’s vision. He thinks people need more ways to find things to do on trip and believes there is a big opportunity to deliver that.
“This market is huge, at least $90 billion,” Sermyagin told VentureBeat. “This includes tours, transfers, museums, shows, food, and more.”
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Sermyagin also mentioned the company is currently developing a mobile version of the site and apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.
Excursiopedia went online in January 2011.
Startup number two is Moscow-based Travelatus, a service dedicated to helping you find concerts, sporting events, and more when you travel. Travelatus just launched in the middle of May, but already has a well-designed site and a good idea for its service.
On top of providing social-based recommendations for big events when you are visiting a place, Travelatus provides hotel search, transportation search, and soon it will add in “group travel search.” The brunt of what the company offers is still focused around music and sports event, but it’s easy to imagine it attempting to become a one-stop shop for booking travel and events.
The company was founded by three Russian entrepreneurs, including CEO Valentin Dombrovsky (pictured, above), who spoke on stage. Dombrovsky says his company will be able to offer even more solutions for travelers in the future.
“We think there is great opportunity in travel planning,” Dombrovsky told VentureBeat. “There is also a chance to bring our engine to businesses and reaching the B2B market.”
Travelatus has partnerships with Seatwave and Expedia, and it is backed up StartupYard, a technology seed accelerator based in Prague. Dombrovsky said the company currently makes money from affiliate links but will be exploring more options in the future.
Disclosure: DEMO Europe paid for our airfare and hotel in Moscow so we could cover the event. Our coverage remains objective.
Travel concept image via Shutterstock