The travel and tourism industry were hit hard during the pandemic. However, things are looking up for the sector with people taking an interest in travelling and outdoor activities post COVID. There’s also a notable uptick in people going camping and catering to their needs is the British start-up, HolidayFox. The startup has now secured £1.17 million in its pre-seed round from some big names, and is all set to ramp up its operations.
Funding the fun
The current funding round for HolidayFox was led by Fuel Ventures with participation from Michael and Xochi Birch (Bebo), Redbus (Simon Franks, ex-Lovefilm), the Atomico Angel Fund, D Global Ventures, Shaan Puri, and Cathexis Ventures. Some angel investors from Monzo, Talentful, Deliveroo, Ski Famille and Blockfi participated in the round as well. Post funding, the company’s valuation currently stands at £4 million.
The company’s team consisted of 15 employees prior to the funding, with half of them being part-timers. Post funding, the startup plans to scale its team up to 45 members and expand its engineering and operations division. HolidayFox will also utilise the funding to develop its product across the UK and other major European countries.
Lead investors for the round, Fuel Ventures, comment, “When Holidayfox approached us we were really excited to come on board and lead this round. We love the sector and Jason has assembled a killer team with a proven track record. We think they have something really disruptive.”
Get outdoors with ease
Going outdoors for activities post the pandemic can be daunting on its own, let alone planning it all. This is where HolidayFox comes in, which offers a platform for consumers to easily find, book and stay at numerous campsites across the UK. In a conversation with UKTN, the company’s CEO Jason Green notes reveals more about the startup.
“We are a trusted platform with the lowest fees in the industry, allowing our customers to get the best prices and book in a secure and trusted environment. Our secret sauce is a transparent and low pricing structure, combined with a seamless booking process similar to Airbnb where campsites and customers are easily able to book and confirm in a few clicks,” Green notes.
With HolidayFox, one can browse through numerous activities and experiences in and around campsites. Additionally, they can select campsites based on amenities (playground or yurts), sea views or big groups, and activities and personal preferences (beach, mountains). Overall, HolidayFox is a marketplace and therefore, activity providers and campsite owners work with the startup to keep their respective information updated.
The future of UK tourism industry
The pandemic brought about some extremely difficult times for companies operating in the tourism and travel sector. As we move on to the new normal, things are expected to get better for the sector. Green notes that going forward there could be a shift in demand from international to local tourism.
Green says, “The gigantic surge in local demand we currently see – as a result of COVID restrictions being lifted but travel abroad still being restricted – may feel temporary, but I believe a residual demand increase is here to stay for the long-term.” The reason behind this, as per Green, is because of three key reasons. First one is said to be Holidaymakers being more environmentally conscious while the second reason is apparently the flexibility in the current working scene due to the whole work from home situation.
Additionally, the financial impact of COVID might force one to spend less on leisure activities, hence people opting for more economical local holidays.