California-based Wheel the World
is the winner of the first Phocuswright/WebinTravel Global Startup Pitch,
selected by a panel of judges from companies including Amadeus, Yanolja Cloud, Booking.com
and several venture capital firms. Wheel the World also received the People’s
This new pitch event is the latest
effort from the two companies, both part of Northstar Travel Group, to identify
startups that are innovating and propelling the travel industry forward.
The competition began in May
with 30 startups selected from more than 120 entries, five from each of six
regions: Asia Pacific; India; the Middle East and Africa; Europe; the United
States/Canada; and Latin America. The semifinal
round in August included one winner from each region and a seventh “wild card”
In the finals Wednesday during WiT
Singapore, judges selected Wheel the World as the winner, giving the company automatic
entry to pitch at The Phocuswright Conference in Phoenix, Arizona in November.
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Founded in 2018, Wheel the World
was a PhocusWire
Hot 25 Startup for 2022. The company is an
online travel marketplace with the purpose to make the world travel accessible
for people with disabilities. Travelers can use the site to search and book
accessible accommodations, transportation, tours and multi-day trips.
thrive during times of crisis, and tomorrow’s travel tech leaders are
incubating products and solutions today during this challenging time,” says Pete
Comeau, managing director of Phocuswright.
is thrilled to partner with WiT to uncover the most promising pre-funded,
early stage companies who are poised to lead our industry through the recovery
and beyond, helping us emerge as a stronger, bolder and better industry.”
Other finalists in the competition included Away To Africa (Middle East/Africa),
Doinn (Europe), GOPASS Global (wild card), Pinquim (Latin America), Vervotech
(India) and Worklounge (APAC).
to Wheel the World. It’s been a long journey, and I hope it’s been a rewarding
one for all involved – all the startups who entered, those who made it into the
pitching rounds and the Grand Finals, our sponsors and our judges,” says Yeoh
Siew Hoon, founder of WiT.
“It’s been a
true collaborative and hybrid endeavor, the kind we’ve seen engendered by the
pandemic – virtual brought us together and in the end, we gathered physically
to crown the winner and People’s Choice. We achieved our aim of uniting around
Says Joanna Gruau Buldón, Wheel the World’s
multi-day trips product manager who represented the company in the event: “It feels
amazing, really. I’m the official face of Wheel the World right now but there’s
an amazing team behind it and I’m so proud to be able to showcase them here.”
for the competition included Amadeus IT and Yanolja Cloud. Regional sponsors included JetBlue Ventures for North America, Cambon Partners for Europe and MakeMyTrip for South
Asia/ASEAN/Pacific and MENA (Middle East/North Africa).
Innovation at The Phocuswright Conference
See Wheel the World and many others startups pitch during the Phocuswright Innovation Summit event at The Phocuswright Conference in November.