Portugal Ventures invests another two million euros in two tourism boosting startups

  • Portugal Ventures invests in Great Hotels of the World and Live Electric Tours.
  • Portugal Ventures invests in companies that boost tourism and contribute to the development of the tourism offer in Portugal, enhancing aspects such as the country’s history, art, architecture, and natural and cultural heritage.

Lisbon, 5 July 2018 – Portugal Ventures has expanded its portfolio in the tourism sector by investing in Great Hotels of the World and Live Electric Tours, thus contributing to the growth and qualification of tourism dynamisation services in the Business and Leisure sectors.

Great Hotels of the World (GHOTW), which operates in 16 countries through a network of 61 associated hotels, is set to relaunch the brand in Portugal. GHOTW is a specialised brand in the various hotel segments, particularly MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions). With this investment from Portugal Ventures, GHOTW will move its registered offices from London to Portugal, leveraging recognised benefits in the country when it comes to human resources, infrastructure and state-of-the-art technology and know-how partners in the tourism and hotel business. The brand hopes to increase the revenue of the associated hotels that are part of the independent Great Hotels of the World network and to entice other 4- and 5-star hotels with business and conference, SPA or wellness infrastructures to join the network.

“The independent hotelier wants to maintain their hotel’s unique identity and personality, but needs access to distribution, sales and international marketing to compete with big name hotels. Great Hotels of the World provides a recognised brand, state-of-the-art technology and personalised services tailored to the hotel’s needs,” explains Pedro Colaço, CEO of GHOTW. “Portugal Ventures’ investment will help us reinforce our team in Lisbon and expand our brand’s services and destinations.”

Live Electric Tours is a startup that hires 100% electric vehicles and offers a new way to discover Lisbon. Tours are programmed using a Self-Drive model with personalised routes and Live Streaming, the latest trend in global tourism. Vehicles come equipped with free Wi-Fi, a GPS Audio Guide, free Hotspot and a Live HD camera which lets users share their entire experience live directly to social media (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, among others).

The company’s target market is tourists from Brazil, the UK, France and the US, which account for approximately 1,618 million tourists who visit the city of Lisbon. The company, which has partnerships with hotels, local accommodation establishments and Lisbon’s Cruise Terminal, will use the investment from Portugal Ventures to increase its fleet from 5 to 16 vehicles in order to meet the demand for its service by large corporate groups and DMCs (Destination Management Companies). The investment will also be used to design digital marketing campaigns and to install points of sale, thus making it easier to engage with tourists who want to discover Lisbon in a different and unique way.

Djalmo Gomes, CEO of Live Electric Tours, states that this investment “is very important at this stage of our company because it’s going to help us achieve the goals we set when we launched the project. We want to be an alternative for DMC businesses who promote tourism activities in Portugal, and for that we need to be able to expand our fleet of EVs. On the other hand, the investment will help us improve our operation, reinforce our team and invest in a more effective marketing strategy.”

Pedro de Mello Breyner, Executive Board Member of Portugal Ventures and Head of the Tourism Investment Unit, says that these two investments are “one of Portugal Ventures’ current priorities, which is to invest in tourism projects, more specifically, in companies with solutions to boost tourism. Very much aligned with the strategy of one of our major shareholders, Turismo de Portugal, it is very important for Portugal Ventures to encourage entrepreneurs who are taking advantage of the boom in tourism in Portugal and have projects that enhance our natural and culture heritage, enrich the tourism experience and showcase the country to the world.”

Miguel Barbosa, Director of Portugal Ventures’ Tourism Investment Unit adds that “these new investments by Portugal Ventures reflect our interest in investing in the tourism sector, in its most varied sub-sectors, at a time when the tourism sector is increasingly more important to the Portuguese economy.”

About Portugal Ventures
Portugal Ventures is a venture capital firm that invests in the seed stage of Portuguese startups in the tech, life sciences and tourism sectors. Considered by CB Insights as the most active venture capital firm in Portugal, since 2012 we have invested over 120 million euros in more than 90 new startups. In the Tourism sector, Portugal Ventures manages a portfolio of 15 companies and has invested 13.5 million euros in the sector. We partner alongside exceptional entrepreneurs with a vision to meet global needs with disruptive business models and technologies on their journey to become global market leaders.

About Great Hotels of the World
Great Hotels of the World (GHOTW) is a company that represents international hotels offering reservation, sales and marketing services, as well as innovative technology solutions to an exclusive portfolio of 60, mostly independent, hotels and resorts, worldwide. Its services are tailored to meet the needs of each hotel and this personalised approach ensures that each one is able to maintain its personality and authenticity, while accessing distribution channels, state-of-the-art technology and new holiday markets. The company‘s registered offices are in Lisbon, Portugal.

About Live Electric Tours
Live Electric Tours is a self-drive experience using 100% electric vehicles for tourists in Lisbon. The company opened its doors in August 2017. Its vehicles are unique as they come equipped with free Wi-Fi, a GPS Audio Guide with pre-programmed routes and a live camera so that users can share their entire experience live directly to social media.

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