Leavy.co, a Paris-based travel community and marketplace, has raised $14 million in seed funding to launch its app for travel-hungry, cash-strapped millennials. Dutch firm Prime Ventures led the round with the participation of angel investor Dominique Vidal, partner at Index Ventures. The startup claims it to be the largest seed funding round in travel tech worldwide.
With a generation of people who value travel and mobility, yet often lack the financial means to keep up with what’s shown to them on social media, Leavy.co wants to create a new travel community in the sharing economy.
Aziza Chaouachi, CEO and Chairwoman of Leavy.co, said: “Travel no longer means heading off to the Canary Islands for a week. It’s visiting your family for the weekend when you are studying abroad, or heading off to Barcelona for that sunny summer job. Leavy.co is about helping our members live the lives they want in a meaningful way, no matter where they are from, who they are or their budget.”
The French startup’s marketplace allows members to jetset while earning cash in a few ways. “Happy Leavers” can leave their city apartment behind and start a trip with guaranteed cash, even if their apartment isn’t booked to rent. “Hosts on Demand” are other local members who take care of the Happy Leaver homes and show the city to the members who are visiting, “City Explorers.” Members can also be rewarded in travel credit, Leavy Coins, when they invite friends to join or add tips, recommendations, or photos to the app.
The startup’s proprietary technology is a combination of network orchestration with a revenue maximizer system. And it’s growing fast.
Leavy.co’s community network has reached 65,000 millennials, 60 percent of whom are women. Since the company was started nearly two years ago, it has grown 30 percent month-over-month, with more than 100 employees across 6 markets. With offices in Paris, Amsterdam, London, Madrid, Rome, and Lisbon, they plan to open in the US by the end of this year.
Pieter Welten, partner at Prime Ventures and Board Member at Leavy.co says: “Aziza has an exhilarating vision for the future of travel. What with a millennial community that is 100% self-managed, the social impact the company offers is both game-changing and very scalable. We couldn’t be more thrilled to back Leavy.co.”