02 Jul 2020 | 11.01 am
ROVE Secures Funding For Travel Tech Platform
€450,000 investment round led by Zoosh Ventures
02 Jul 2020 | 11.01 am
ROVE has announced €450,000 seed investment led by Zoosh Ventures with participation from Enterprise Ireland and private investors.
The Dublin venture was founded in 2019 by Brian Kearney, former head of digital at Fitbit, to make active and experience based travel more readily accessible.
According to Kearney (pictured), the rise in demand for adventure tourism has been driven by an upsurge in government initiatives promoting experiential tourism.
“There are significant shifts in what consumers want out of a holiday today,” he said. “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.”
Travel experiences are one of the least digitised segments of the travel industry. “85% of leisure travellers decide which activities and experiences to book only after arriving at their destination, so last minute, in-destination bookings are key to success in this sector,” said Kearney. “We are developing digital solutions that offer live availability, enabling travellers to make an instant booking directly from their phone.”
In addition to its own consumer application, ROVE intends to act as a distribution partner for online travel agencies, airlines and hotels.
Zoosh Ventures managing partner Bert Farrell commented: “The market potential for ROVE is enormous as 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.”
Taxpayers are chipping in €200,000 to the company through Enterprise Ireland. Agency executive Niall McEvoy described ROVE as a progressive early-stage travel tech company focused on the growing and under-served 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,” McEvoy added.