Swiss travel company, Viatu, has secured $1 million in a seed funding round led by Ndoto LLC. The company, which specialises in multi-day sustainable adventures, uses API and data-driven technology to simplify the booking process for its customers.
The funding round also saw participation from several other investors, including Austrian sustainable travel marketplace ASI Reisen, and angel investors such as Loic Amado, ex-Uber and founder of Ambo Ventures, and Kenya-based lodge Emboo Camp. With this new capital infusion, Viatu plans to expand its offerings and reach more customers who are seeking sustainable travel experiences.
To date, the company has raised $1.2 million in funding.
Bárbara Buchel, Co-founder and Chief Impact Officer at Viatu, commented: “We created Viatu to take the guesswork and extensive manual labour out of booking sustainable travel, and empower travellers to become an active force in enriching local environments, economies, and communities. The additional funding will allow us to further develop our platform to make arranging an adventure holiday from your smartphone as easy as booking a taxi or ordering a takeaway.”
Susan Miller, Co-founder of Ndoto LLC, commented: “We are big believers in Viatu’s vision to make sustainable travel simpler and easier for everyone. Viatu has proven that travel can be a force to enrich local communities by offering opportunities, as well as helping to promote self-expansion and an appreciation for the natural world around us.”
A solution to the problem of travel planning
Viatu is aiming to change the way people book holidays with its innovative approach to planning sustainable adventures. According to a recent study, people spend an average of 10 hours over 2-3 weeks planning their holiday, with multi-locational trips taking even longer. This process can be daunting and often requires visiting dozens of websites before finalising and booking plans.
While some people opt for booking a complex multi-day tour through travel agents, this process can be slow, expensive, and confusing. In fact, nearly 80% of trips to Africa are booked through travel agencies, with only one in five travellers choosing to book directly.
To simplify the process of booking a sustainable adventure holiday, Viatu was co-founded in Zug, Switzerland in 2020 by travel industry professionals Alfredo Seidemann, Johan Bodenstein, and Bárbara Buchel. The company’s trip builder allows travellers to cut the searching and booking process from weeks to minutes and gives them full control of their itineraries via a single platform.
AI and API plugins to simplify booking process
Viatu aims to focus on holidays to destinations that are logistically challenging to visit due to the lack of available information and knowledge of where to go, how to book, and the best way to travel between multiple and unfamiliar locations in-country. It demystifies the unfamiliar by making unusual trips more bookable through easy-to-access information available through its platform.
Currently, Viatu specialises in trips to sub-Saharan African destinations, such as Botswana, Namibia, Rwanda, and South Africa, and users can choose from a number of experiences. AI technology and API plugins simplify the booking process, allowing users to arrange their trips easily and efficiently through the website, with more destinations from across the globe to be added soon.
Sustainable travel made possible
The Swiss travel company is further taking a proactive approach towards responsible tourism by offering its users the opportunity to make sustainable choices. The company’s platform enables users to sign the ‘Viatu Travellers Pledge’, which outlines responsible tourism practices and encourages cultural and environmental considerations.
In addition to this, Viatu is integrating an offsetting API called SQUAKE into its platform to accurately calculate carbon emissions for all types of travel activities. This will enable the company to directly purchase relevant carbon credits on behalf of its users automatically after their trip is completed.
The move is part of Viatu’s broader commitment to promoting responsible tourism practices and making a positive impact on the environment. By offering sustainable travel options and taking concrete steps to offset carbon emissions, Viatu is demonstrating its commitment to sustainability and helping to accelerate the transition to net-zero at a global level.
As more travellers become aware of the environmental impact of their trips, companies like Viatu are stepping up to provide sustainable alternatives. By incorporating responsible tourism practices and offering carbon offsetting options, Viatu is helping to make travel more sustainable and contributing to a more environmentally conscious world.