Flight-free start-up Byway bags £5M in Series A funding

Flight-free start-up Byway bags £5M in Series A funding

Firm hopes to make journey-based travel 'mainstream'

Flight-free travel tech start-up Byway has revealed it has raised £5 million in an oversubscribed Series A funding round.

The recent funding round was led by Heartcore Capital, which invests in tech companies that bring happiness and enchantment to the world and has led investments in GetYourGuide, Travelperk, and Fora.

Eka Ventures, which focuses on sustainable consumption, also participated, along with re-investing Byway angels, including the HERmesa angel syndicate, impact investor, Julia Davies, and Susan Hooper, former SAGA CEO.

With the new investment, Byway plans to expand its team, launch new markets and further develop its flight-free travel technology.

As the demand for sustainable travel continues to grow as illustrated in a 2023 Byway OnePoll survey, the firm believes it is at the “forefront of making flight-free holidays mainstream”.

Its JourneyAI technology is the world’s first 100% flight-free holiday planner, that integrates transport and accommodation data with expert place- and journey-based to multi-stop, personalised trips away from tourist hotspots.

JourneyAI optimises trips for “enjoyment rather than speed, enriching holiday experiences for travellers and making the journey part of the trip instead of a means to an end”.

Over the coming months, Byway will launch roles in tech, product, finance, business development and customer support.

“It was a delight to experience such overwhelming interest from investors enthusiastic about the future of flight-free travel when raising our Series A,” said Cat Jones, CEO and founder of Byway.

“I’m thrilled that in Heartcore and Eka we’ve found partners who believe in the joy of journey-based holidays and the potential of JourneyAI to change travel for the better.”

Max Niederhofer, general partner of Heartcore Capital, added: “Heartcore has been investing in world-class founders building the future of travel for over a decade.

“We felt called to support Byway’s mission to make tourism both more fulfilling and sustainable, and believe that its technology will become a key pillar for the next generation of online travel. We are thrilled to be supporting another world-class European team in travel and particularly love Byway’s collaborative, supportive, and holistic mission-driven culture.”