Hotelbeds and Wayra Telefonica to set up TravelTech Lab to support start-ups

Hotelbeds and Wayra Telefonica to set up TravelTech Lab to support start-ups

Applications for first innovation challenge are due to close on March 28

Hotelbeds and telecommunications specialist Wayra Telefonica has announced a collaboration to establish a TravelTech Lab that will support start-ups.

The tie-up will see the global bedbank work over the next 15 months with Wayra’s Open Innovation Hub.

They will support start-ups to “explore innovative tech-based solutions to change the way travellers move, connect and explore”.

The announcement of the TravelTech Lab also sees the launch of a first start-up challenge to help entrepreneurs with business plans to connect with the global travel ecosystem.

Start-ups invited to join the lab will be offered potential investment, including grants worth up to €40,000 from Hotelbeds as well as mentoring, support and business development opportunities by leaders of both companies. 

They will also be able to work with other like-minded innovators from physical hubs at Wayra’s based in central Madrid, and Hotelbeds’ head office in Palma de Mallorca.

Nicolas Huss, chief executive of Hotelbeds, said: “Hotelbeds and Wayra are two like-minded companies – both focused on finding the next innovation to re-shape the global travel landscape. 

“We have seen the ecosystem changing recently and have been actively working to reduce friction across the full travel spectrum. 

“Now, joining forces with Wayra is an exciting opportunity to accelerate these plans and cement our position as the world’s leader in TravelTech, while also supporting the next generation of tech start-ups looking to create breakthrough products, bring them to market and scale their businesses.”

Irene Gómez Luque, Telefónica Open Innovation chief executive, added: “Collaborating in the creation of the TravelTech Lab by Hotelbeds is an exciting project to which we are delighted to lend all our experience in the international entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

“Together, we will navigate the search for the most innovative start-ups in the travel and tourism sector that can create a real impact on the business and help in its digital transformation.” 

More information about the Lab and the challenge is available at The deadline for applications is March 28 and the winners are due to be announced in May.