Learn how to validate your startup idea by pre-selling it, for only $80 (includes a free 1-hour consultancy call).
Travel Failures

9 Failed Travel Startups & the Reasons Behind

Here are 9 travel startups that have shut down in the last years, analyses on their failure, and interviews with their founders.

Ad

Startup Foundations

Gain traction with your startup right now. In this free video series, learn tactical strategies proven to deliver results. Get free access to Startup Foundations →

There are a lot of things to consider when building a new startup - where to get funding, how to validate your idea, and what features should the product have.

One of the challenges is finding a market that is willing to pay for your solution without even knowing what it is yet.

However, 90% of startups will fail and shut down.

In this article, you can find 9 failed Travel startups as well as analyses on why they closed down.


9 Failed Travel Startups

Ad

Startup Foundations

Gain traction with your startup right now. In this free video series, learn tactical strategies proven to deliver results. Get free access to Startup Foundations →

Desti

Desti

Desti was a traveling and mapping iPad app that used AI to help planning a trip. Although users found it useful, they ended up booking on other platforms.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Imri Goldberg, Mosi Shuchman, Nadav Gur

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Travel

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Dopplr

Dopplr

Dopplr was a social travel network service. In 2009, Nokia acquired it for $20 million and the number of Dopplr users fell since then until shutting down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Dan Gillmor, Lisa Sounio, Marko Ahtisaari, Matt Jones, Taneli Tikka

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Travel

  • Started in:

    2007

  • Closed in:

    Active

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    No Data

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Acquisition Flu

You can read more about their failure here.

HotelsAroundYou

HotelsAroundYou

HotelsAroundYou was an India service centered on last-minute and short stay bookings. They weren't capable of raising more money and had to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Animesh Chaudhary, Harsha Nallur, Mohsin Dingankar

  • Country:

    India

  • Industry:

    Travel

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    < $1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

RoomsTonite

RoomsTonite

RoomsTonite was a last-minute hotel booking app for people traveling to India. They raised $1.5M in funding but the money didn't arrive and they shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Suresh John

  • Country:

    India

  • Industry:

    Travel

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Nº of employees:

    100-250

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

Stayzilla

Stayzilla

Stayzilla was a successful homestay network that raised $33.5M in funding. Their operational costs were too high and they were losing money every year.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Rupal Yogendra, Sachit Singhi, Sachit Singhi, Yogendra Vasupal

  • Country:

    India

  • Industry:

    Travel

  • Started in:

    2005

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Nº of employees:

    250-500

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Focus

You can read more about their failure here.

Utrip

Utrip

Utrip was a travel planning startup that used AI to create personalized itineraries. Keeping the recommendation engine alive was too much for them.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Gilad Berenstein, Yair Berenstein

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Travel

  • Started in:

    2012

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Mismanagement of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

WOW Air

WOW Air

WOW Air was the Icelandic answer to RyanAir for low-cost air travel in Europe. The cause of failure was that they wanted to become too big too fast.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Skuli Mogensen

  • Country:

    Iceland

  • Industry:

    Transportation

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    No Data

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Multiple Reasons

You can read more about their failure here.

Onepagetrip

Onepagetrip

Onepagetrip was a travel itinerary sharing community. Not having a plan to make money from the beginning was a stupid rookie mistake.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Ana Santos

  • Country:

    Australia

  • Industry:

    Travel

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Vacation Bird

Vacation Bird

Gene founded VacationBird, a marketplace for finding your vacation rental. It was an early version of Airbnb and a VRBO competitor. Having a misalignment of incentives between co-founders and poor planning were the main causes to shut it down in 2012.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Gene Maryushenko

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Travel

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2012

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Experience

You can read more about their failure here.

The All-In-One Newsletter for Startup Founders

Every week, I’ll send you Failory’s latest interviews and articles, curated resources for founders, and updates on how I’m growing the site to $10k/mo. Join +7,000 other startup founders!