We are excited to announce that Rome2rio has just closed a $450,000 seed funding round. Investors in the round are the Melbourne entrepreneurs Guy King & Bevan Clark — founders and former owners of RetailMeNot, which was acquired recently by Whaleshark — and a leading Online Travel Agency based in Asia. Funds from the raising will go towards new hires in the engineering team, and a concentrated effort on the business development front.
Rod Cuthbert will be joining Rome2rio as Interim CEO. Rod is the founder and former CEO of Viator, a successful tours and activities marketplace that he founded in Sydney and grew into a successful international business. Rod has recently returned from San Francisco to live in Melbourne, and brings a wealth of experience in the travel industry to Rome2rio.
Rome2rio will also use the funds to bolster its engineering team, with another new hire starting in June.
To say a big thanks to the startup community, we hosted drinks on Friday at our new home at co-working space Inspire9. The folks at i9 have been especially supportive to us over the last year, and we’re thrilled to be a part of the vibrant community growing in Melbourne’s inner city suburb of Richmond.
The reported lack of angel funding in Australia, and brain drain of technology entrepreneurs has been a hot topic lately in the media here. In response, I’ll publish a blog post later this week with a frank description of our own fundraising experiences. We’ll follow-up with a blog post explaining why we have chosen to base ourselves in Australia, and the advantages and disadvantages we face with that choice.