Investors who don’t hate travel

Update: Since this article was published, Voyager HQ updated the list for 2019.

Raising capital is often said to be the most difficult responsibility for any entrepreneur. Throw in building and shipping product, gaining traction, managing team culture, etc., and it’s obvious the founder struggle is real.

But I’m convinced that being an entrepreneur in travel is even harder.

Despite being one of the largest verticals in the world, founders who raise capital for travel and hospitality ventures regularly hear phrases like:

“Travel is too gnarly for me.”—Chris Sacca, Lowercase Capital

“Travel may be the one vertical we’ve never made a bet. We don’t understand it.” — Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures

Whether it’s indeed just too gnarly or people have been burned by bad bets, such few experienced investors active in the space further reduces an entrepreneur’s likelihood to succeed.

Most travel founders are familiar with venture capitalists like Joel Cutler (General Catalyst), Brad Gerstner (Altimeter), and Brian O’Malley (Forerunner), along with angel investors Erik Blachford, Sam Shank, Rich Barton, Hugh Crean and Gregg Brockway. These investors like to invest in travel.

But over the years, fellow founders have often asked me the same question that I’ve repeatedly asked myself…

“Who are the angels or VCs who don’t hate travel?”

We ask this because many sophisticated investors pass on all travel financings and simply avoid the space. So, in an effort to finally answer the question, I’ve made a list of investors who don’t hate travel.

Investors who invest in travel with the startups they've invested in.

P.S. h/t to Dave Ambrose for compiling an initial list years ago and a special thanks to Gillian Morris and Evan Konwiser for always supporting the travel founder community.