CuddlyNest raises $6m in additional funding

Florida: Short-term rental marketplace CuddlyNest has announced that it has raised US$6 million in new funding from its existing private investors.

The capital injection takes the total investment in the travel tech startup to over $10.5 million, since its inception in early 2017.

As a one-stop travel booking platform, CuddlyNest provides listings across a diverse range of accommodation types, including hotels, hostels, vacation homes, penthouses, and even RVs, heralding its slogan “Travel is for Everyone”.

The Orlando-based startup also claims to offer the “lowest aggregate commission fee on the global online travel agency [OTA] market”, setting out to revolutionise the booking system by cutting unnecessary travel fees using its booking fee-sharing model.

The funding comes at a time when uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic has threatened the travel industry.

CuddlyNest co-partner and COO, Ritesh Raj, said: “Continuous capital injection into the industry — whether to CuddlyNest or other startups in travel tech — is the clearest indication that investors and stakeholders are optimistic in their forecasting of what is to come.”

The funding will be partially used to expand the startup’s global workforce in 2021 and to further strengthen the agility of its team who will be continuously evaluating scaling priorities based on fast-paced market developments paired with exhaustive market research into shifting traveller patterns.

While the travel industry has suffered extensive furloughs and layoffs, CuddlyNest said that it had maintained its workforce and continued to expand with new hirings. It attributed this position largely due to its diversified accommodation network which ensured local bookings, thereby maintaining a healthy operating performance due to “lockdown fever”.

Having launched the #PlanNowStayLater campaign in April in response to the worldwide lockdowns, CuddlyNest reported witnessing an increase in local travel booking volume, affirming a strong interest in the staycation segment until all national borders are open for global tourism.

In addition, with the upcoming launch of its enhanced platform upgrade on Thanksgiving Day 2020, CuddlyNest will aim to continue with its mission of connecting travellers to millions of properties around the globe.