- Travel-focused lifestyle app and tech company beats global record for travel tech seed rounds
- Funding round led by Benelux’s largest VC investor Prime Ventures, backer of Takeaway, Mendix and Meero
- Leavy.co’s vision is to make travel cheaper, every day
- Company has offices in Paris, Amsterdam, London, Rome, Madrid and Lisbon
- US presence anticipated by the end of year
Paris, 26th November 2019 – Leavy.co, the innovative travel community and marketplace, has raised $14m in seed funding and launched its lifestyle app, designed to help millennial locals travel for less. Dutch investor Prime Ventures has led what is considered the largest ever seed funding round in travel tech worldwide, with participation from angel investor Dominique Vidal, partner at Index Ventures, who has worked with some of the US and Europe’s biggest consumer internet companies.
With the majority of their income spent on metropolitan rents, combined with a lifestyle largely influenced by social media, 18 to 34 year olds are making new mobility-related choices. These tech-savvy, young adults prefer experiences over things, travel several times a year to visit friends and family, and sometimes choose to reside in more than one city. While benefiting from the latest advances of the sharing economy, their lack of financial security – student loans and credit card debts – prevents them from accessing affordable apartments, flights and experiences.
Leavy.co believes this vicious cycle can be broken and is reinventing the way that millennials organize their travel and hospitality through a unique approach, driven by community.
The Leavy.co travel and community-driven marketplace allows members to earn cash in several ways:
- as a “Happy Leaver” – members leave their apartment and start their getaway with 100% guaranteed cash, no matter if their apartment is booked or not
- as a “Host on Demand” – other local members take care of the Happy Leaver homes listed and show their city to “City Explorers”
Additionally, members can be rewarded in travel credit – called Leavy Coins – when they invite their friends to join and inspire others with tips and recommendations, or when posting their favorite photos on the Leavy.co app’s feed.
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 startup was founded after CEO Aziza Chaouachi, at the time a law student, decided to rent her Parisian flat on Airbnb, to cover the cost of her Eurolines tickets. While away, she could count on the help of her neighborhood friends joining forces to make sure her guests were having a great stay. What started as a student side-hustle snowballed rapidly into a network of millennials, preparing apartments, as well as hosting and showing around guests.
Shortly after, co-founders Yassine Ben Romdhane, joined as Chief Operating Officer, and Mario Moinet, as Chief Strategy Officer.
The startup’s proprietary technology – network orchestration combined with a revenue maximizer system – is key to boosting the millennials’ lifestyle and travel buying power and new mobility choices.
Leavy.co’s community network has reached +65 000 millennials, of whom 60% are women. Since it was started, 21 months ago, the company has grown +30% month-over-month and has +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.”
The deal was advised by Chausson Finance, the leading European fund raising advisor for fast growing companies.