Chamba-based travel startup NotOnMap has raised ₹1.97 crores (Euro €2,50,000) from Amsterdam-based hotel booking and travel firm Booking.com. The development marks the highest grant received by any Indian startup for the purpose of expansion in the future. NotOnMap creates a livelihood for people in rural areas by connecting them to offbeat travelers.
Announced on Friday, the grant succeeds the completion of a 3-week accelerator program called Booster Accelerator Program which culminates with pitches for the grants. Ten startups were shortlisted on NotOnMap was one of them. NotOnMap is working across 60 villages, covering some 20 communities. Among other states they have presence are Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Karnataka.
Founded by Kumar Anubhav, the five-years-old startup empowers communities by creating a livelihood for marginalized people in rural areas. The startup connects travelers with unique and differentiated experiences and aims to preserve the culture and heritage of these rural and distinct areas. The startup also offers accommodation in rural areas along with deep-rooted cultural exchanges.
“The commercial validation of our model built around social enterprise from an industry leader like Booking Booster gives us immense confidence to pursue our mission more vigorously and passionately,” said Kumar Anubhav, Founder of NotOnMap.
Other tourism startups that received grants from Booking.com’s Booster Program are Netherlands-based Avy which received ₹1.5 crores, Nepal-based SASANE which received ₹1.37 crores, Malaysia-based Picha Eats which received ₹1.37 crores, Australia-based Clean Travel, Netherlands-based I Like Local and Indonesia-based Sumba which received ₹78 lakhs each.
The ₹15 crores Booster Program not only invests in startups, but the finalist startups also receive support from Amazon Web Services (AWS). Under the support program, AWS provides startups with valuable resources needed including credits, training and support to bring their technology ideas to life.