Accommodations booking platform CuddlyNest has raised $6 million to scale operations and expand its workforce.
The funding round, from CuddlyNest’s existing private investors, brings the Orlando-based startup’s total funding to $10.5 million.
Founded in 2017, CuddlyNest offers accommodation types including vacation homes, hotels, hostels, penthouses and RVs.
The company claims to offer the “lowest aggregate commission fee” on the global online travel agency market. With its booking fee-sharing model, the platform helps cut unnecessary travel fees.
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Although the COVID-19 crisis still poses a threat to the travel industry, CuddlyNest co-partner and COO Ritesh Raj says the fresh capital shows investor optimism for 2021.
“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,” he says.
In addition to scaling operations and expanding its workforce – despite mass layoffs and furloughs across the industry, the company says it has maintained its employees and made new hires amid the pandemic – CuddlyNest will use the funds to help its team adapt to market developments and shifting traveler patterns.
It says that, in part due to a marketing campaign in April encouraging travelers to #PlanNowStayLater, CuddlyNest has experienced an increase in local travel booking volume.
The CuddlyNest platform will debut an upgrade on Thanksgiving Day in the United States.
In the accommodations space, several other startups have received financing in recent weeks, including private accommodation search engine Holidu, which posted a €5 million top-up to its Series C round; apartment rental startup Casai, which raised a $48 million round led by Andreessen Horowitz; and apart-hotel concept Limehome, which added €10 million to a Series A round.