Image Credit: Booking.com
Global travel ecommerce company Booking.com has awarded $466K (4 Lakh Euro) on J&K-based Global Himalayan Expedition and $379K (3.25 Lakh Euro) Delhi-based transport provider for women by women Sakha.
These startups were part of Booking.com’s 2018 accelerator programme in sustainable tourism in which 10 startups were selected to join the three-week long workshops and coaching sessions led by the company.
On the selection, Gillian Tans, President and CEO of Booking.com, said, “The vision and passion that we’ve seen from all the startups this year has been truly inspiring. We’re all looking forward to seeing how their plans unfold over as we work together for more sustainable travel industry to even more destinations worldwide.”
Founded by Meenu Vadera in partnership with Azad Foundation, Sakha is a not for profit organisation providing livelihood to over 1,000 resource-poor women in way by driving skills as part of its “Women on Wheels (WOW)” initiative.
On winning the investment from Booking.com, Vadera said, “Booking Booster provided us with some much needed time to reflect, re-strategize and fire up our rockets. We will use the fund to scale up our capacity, improve operational efficiency and multiply our impact exponentially.”
Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE) was founded by Paras Loomba in 2013. It organises impact expeditions to provide clean energy and digital education access to the remote mountain himalayan communities, helping to put them on the map for future travelers to explore.
Energy access leader at GHE, Jaideep Bansai, said, “The programme has helped us to understand the dynamics of customer development while maintaining a deep, tangible impact for indigenous communities. This grant will enable us to scale our operations to other geographies and empower us to conduct 160 impact expeditions with 2,500 tourists, bringing electricity to 100K villagers and in the process offsetting 9K tons of CO2 emissions.”
The 10 startups that participated in the program hail from six different countries. The other eight startups working for sustainable tourism also received grants from the online travel platform.
They include Nepal-based Community Homestay Network, US-based Keteka, Tastemakers and Wheel the World, Thailand-based HiveSters, Netherland-based Hotel Con Corazón, Switzerland-based KITRO, and Reflow.
Booking.com invests in digital technology that helps take the friction out of travel. In addition to the Booking.com scaling grants, Amazon Web Services (AWS) will also offer to each of the Booking.com Booster finalists the possibility to benefit from its Startups program — AWS Activate.