Travel planning platform Mygola has announced a new round of funding. And with nearly a quarter of its users based in Latin America, this could have significant implications for the region’s travel tech sector.
Mygola has closed a US$1.5 million Series A funding round led by Indian fund Helion Venture Partners and with participation from existing investor Blumberg Capital. Ashish Gupta, Managing Director of Hilion, will be joining Mygola’s board.
Headquartered in the United States and with engineering offices in Bangalore, Mygola’s platform allows users to discover and book customizable travel itineraries all around the globe. Over the past three years, the startup has helped over two million travelers to plan their trips to upwards of 20,000 destinations worldwide.
Mygola’s strategy lies in the strength of its algorithms, which help independent travelers to identify the most optimal way to experience a destination and take care of the logistical details. The company, a 500 Startups alum, has raised US$2.6 million in funding to date.
In the investment announcement, Mygola Co-founder and CEO Anshuman Bapna outlines the problem the company is seeking to address:
Travel suffers from a blind-men-and-the-elephant problem. JetBlue knows when you’re landing, Airbnb knows where you’re staying, and Viator knows which tour you’re taking. If we succeed in combining these elements into an itinerary that the traveler will take with them on their trip, we could become the gateway through which all online travel will get delivered. This could be the way to crack open the last bastion in online travel.
One of Mygola’s biggest bets moving forward in Latin America is Brazil – but it’s not the only destination the team has an eye on. “Brazil is by far the most popular country, and we can see the World Cup fever picking up slowly but surely. Another popular destination is Peru, and surfing spots in Ecuador,” explained Bapna in an interview with PulsoSocial.
Bapna also said the company isn’t worried about potential competitors in Latin America, such as fast-growing Hotel Urbano, WeHostels and Despegar:
We’re actually quite different from Hotel Urbano and the others. Our focus is on helping you figure out what to do – and we think the best way to do that is to show you great trips taken by savvy travelers to Latin America. We have what is probably one of the largest collections of such trips, and our sophisticated algorithms allow you to modify these trips to suit your needs.
What’s more, the other players in the travel sector actually represent quite an opportunity for Mygola. One of the most compelling aspects of the startup’s model is that it could potentially partner with all of the transaction-focused companies out there. “We’re already partnered with Expedia but can easily imagine doing so with Hotel Urbano for countries in Latin America when our travelers need to book accommodation,” Bapna noted.
Next up on Mygola’s regional agenda: preparing a showcase of itineraries for the World Cup in Brazil.