Liftopia closes on $1.3M to help you hit the slopes
October 19, 2011
Liftopia, a website that sells discounted ski lift tickets and alpine resort packages, has closed on $1.3 million in new funding. The company was founded by former Hotwire executives Evan Reece and Ron Schneidermann in 2006 and has raised nearly $3 million to date.
Liftopia says it will use the cash to further build out its software platform. It also plans to add more deals on summertime "mountain-related activities" to make more year-round revenue.
The fresh funding round was led by new investor First Round Capital and included participation from two notable individual investors, Path founder Dave Morin and ex-Googler Chris Sacca.
Liftopia claims to be the largest e-retailer of ski lift tickets and related products and services such as ski lessons and rentals. The company sources deals through its relationships with more than 150 North American ski resorts, and Liftopia makes money by taking a portion of each transaction on the site. According to Liftopia, its growth has been solid: Its year-over-year revenues and transaction volumes have grown "in the triple digits" in each of the past five years.
The ski industry is not exactly massive, but it is quite lucrative — so it seems that Liftopia has made a smart choice in its niche focus. If its growth is as good as Liftopia says it is, the company could soon emerge as an attractive acquisition target for larger travel search companies such as Kayak, Expedia or even Microsoft's Bing.