Canadian Travel Booking Startup Raises $6.6 Million

By Bruce Harpham Saturday, March 6, 2021

The travel industry may be down right now, but others see hope. RocketRez, a startup business based in Winnipeg, has received $8.4 million CAD ($6.6 million USD) in funding from investors. Founded in 2012, RocketRez operates a point of sale (POS) and inventory management platform for travel industry business customers like attractions, museums, and tour companies. According to the company’s LinkedIn page, the travel software company has 18 employees as of February 26.

A person booking a vacation on their computer.

Business Customers Who Use the Startup Business

Rocketrez is used by a variety of businesses in the tourism industry. The business customers using the platform include Red and White Fleet (a San Francisco cruise company), Gulf World (a Florida aquarium business), Reunion Tower, and Kitsap Transit. For a tourism company that uses third-party platforms such as Viator, Expedia, and GetYourGuide, Rocketrez works with third parties through its API.

Rocketrez’s integration with third-party travel platforms is critically important because they generate a significant business volume. Founded in 1996, Expedia serves 2,100 cities around the world.

Investors Join the Board of Directors

Investors in the travel technology startup are contributing more than funding. In the startup company’s funding announcement, two people will join the Board from Blueprint Equity. Ocampo has previously led investments in CompanyCam (a Nebraska tech company that helps contractors monitor projects) and Sunwave Health (a Florida health technology company focused on substance abuse facilities).

Beyond Blueprint Equity, the travel startup business has also received investment from TIMIA Capital. Based in Vancouver, TIMIA Capital is unusual in the venture capital investment industry because it is publicly traded with a stock price under $1 as of February 2021. TIMIA Capital also earns a significant amount of revenue from lending. For the six months ended on May 31, 2020, the company earned $1.8 million CAD ($1.42 million USD), according to documents on SEDAR.

Betting on a Post-Pandemic Travel Boom

Over the past year, travel activity has fallen around the world. For example, the TSA reports 1 million travelers going through travel checkpoints on Feb 25, 2021 (down from 2.3 million travelers on February 25, 2020). In addition, American Airlines has warned that 13,000 employees may lose their jobs if the industry does not receive additional assistance from the US government.

Despite these trends, RocketRez is confident about pent-up demand for travel. The company points out that a New Roaring Twenties may boost travel activity in the coming years. According to the Travel Market Report, air travel passenger volumes are expected to return in Q3 2021. In addition, cruise operators expect to grow business sales by 10-25% in 2021 compared to 2020.

The pace of global vaccinations against COVID-19 is the elephant in the room for the travel industry. According to Johns Hopkins University data, 6.58% of the US population has been vaccinated on February 26, 2021. Only five countries have vaccinated more than 10% of their population: the Cayman Islands, United Arab Emirates, Seychelles, Israel, and Gibraltar.

About the Author


Headshot for author Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book "Project Managers At Work" shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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