Holdbar, a Danish experience management software founded one year ago, has raised $3.5M from the likes of Toast founder Steve Fredette and Firstminute Capital.
More tour operators and experience providers aren’t digitised.
Holdbar is trying to change this, creating a complete software suite for experience providers, gathering all you need to create, promote, and sell experiences, e.g. a booking engine, payment solution, team planning, gift card solution, and demand generation.
Now, the company has raised a $3.5M Seed round to further develop the platform into the preferred platform for experience providers globally.
Co-founder and CEO Lasse Kjær, who in 2023 exited leading Nordic experience marketplace Truestory to Smartbox Group after having co-founded the company in 2012, shared:
“Experiences are the fastest-growing sector within the tourist and travel industry. The younger generation, in particular, is likely to prioritise experiences over things.
By developing a platform that helps experience providers improve their commercial output, they can create a healthier business."
“We’re incredibly excited to work with such an experienced team. Toast is one of the companies we deeply admire because they have achieved what we aim to achieve within restaurants within experiences. Together, we will continue to develop and scale our platform for experience providers to streamline and grow their business,” Lasse Kjær says.
With a rapidly growing demand for experiences, both existing and new, developing sub-verticals within the experience eco-system need the proper tooling and infrastructure to succeed and thrive.
Examples of developments within the industry are artificial intelligence and experience creators coming out of the influencer industry, creating events for their followers to engage authentically with their audience and develop new revenue streams.
Brent Hoberman, co-founder and managing partner of Firstminute Capital, shared:
"Just like Shopify did for e-commerce brands over the last decade, Holdbar provides the infrastructure to enable small businesses in the domestic tourism and experiences sector to run independently from the major OTAs.
Holdbar’s tooling allows these SMEs to engage directly with their customers on whichever platforms they choose (websites, social media, messaging channels) and provide an end-to-end high-quality digital experience that reflects their brand.
Over the next decade, businesses need to own their data and run their own software stack if they are going to be able to gain from AI efficiencies. We believe Holdbar can help small businesses in travel make this transition.”