Denmark-based leisure experiences admin platform Holdbar has confirmed raising $1 million of pre-seed funding from early-stage VC vehicle Founderment.
The two-month-old company plans to integrate payments, bookings, sales forecasting and promotional activities in a single experience management platform, which just left a beta trial with 30 experience providers.
Figures show 50% of experience companies don't use booking software to onboard customers. The figure rises sharply in European markets in comparison to North America, where providers report the highest digital adoption rate.
Lasse Kjær, Holdbar CEO, said the experience market generated a $150 billion annual turnover. He predicts more providers will seek digital bookings management tools to improve sales and streamline operations.
"Now, massive investments are being made in new tech to boost companies' sales and streamline processes. We know about the industry and the need and believe our solution can create more experiences, happier guests and healthier businesses."
Kjær and fellow co-founder Lars Daniel Rasmussen worked together before at the Nordics experience trading platform Truestory, which grew to an annual turnover of above $10 million and now has more than 1,000 experience partnerships.
That track record helped to attract Founderment's attention. Founderment founders Christian Schwarz Lausten and Anders Boelskifte Mogensen previously started the online leisure, learning and workspace marketplace Gaest.com, sold to Airbnb in early 2019.
Mogensen noted that experience providers had been slower than peers in the leisure and travel space to adopt digital bookings technology.
"The opportunities are almost endless in this exciting market," Mogensen said. "Unlike hotels, airlines and the
car rental industry, which do most of their business online, experience providers are only slowly starting to realise the digital possibilities for growing their business in an online reality.
"We have great confidence in the team behind it and look forward to being part of the journey."
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