4 May 2016 – Accomable, a London-based travel tech startup, which helps disabled and elderly people find adapted hotels and holiday rentals, has raised £300,000 ($430,000) in seed funding – the highest amount ever raised by a business of its kind to date.
The round, which drew support from leading investors in the tech and hospitality sector, will enable Accomable, pitched to be the ‘Airbnb for the disabled’, to expand its offering to include thousands more adapted properties, and services such as specialist insurance and transport, targeting disabled and elderly customers in the UK, Europe, the US and worldwide.
The company, based in London, UK, was founded by disabled entrepreneurs Srin Madipalli and Martyn Sibley. Friends since childhood and regular travellers, Madipalli (who now serves as the company’s CEO) and Sibley are both wheelchair users due to a disability called SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy). Frustrated at the lack of travel information available for disabled people, they launched Accomable in the summer of 2015. The company received initial funding from the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University (where Mr Madipalli studied) via an initiative to support ventures that deliver social impact.
Since then, Accomable has grown into one of the largest platforms of adapted properties with over 500 properties in 36 countries; with a further 1500 properties in the process of being vetted via a collaboration with travel giant HomeAway. Accomable has offices in London and Austin, Texas, with plans to move into Singapore this year. The company was also a part of an award-winning documentary that premiered in December 2015 at a UN sponsored film festival in New York City. The film charts Mr Madipalli’s journey to teach himself to code in order to build and launch Accomable.
10% of the UK population (over 6.4 million people) considers itself to have a mobility issue (YouGov survey 2015) while 19% of the US population (over 60 million people) have some form of disability (2012 census), yet finding appropriately adapted holiday homes can be difficult for families and individuals who are either personally affected by disability or who care for someone that is. Accomable solves this problem by ensuring vendors provide high quality images and information to help users decide whether the property is appropriate.
CEO and Co-founder of Accomable, Srin Madipalli, said:
“This investment will enable us to accelerate the growth of Accomable, and become the world’s leading travel-booking platform, not only for people with disabilities but also for the rapidly increasing number of elderly people and people with a mobility issue, who are otherwise scant provided for here in the UK and around the world.
“Our next steps will be to address our growing customer base’s increasing and significant needs, expanding the number of properties we offer whilst also broadening our service provision to include specialist travel insurance and adapted car hire. We will continually seek technological solutions to improve our platform; making bookings quicker and easier.”
Katie Bentley-Chan or Srin Madipalli at Accomable for more information, high res images, to feature the film on your website or to arrange an interview.
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