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Manchester car rental tech startup lands €50k Spanish airport funding

A Manchester-based car rental technology business has been selected as one of five international, high-growth tech startups to join a Spanish accelerator programme.

Spanish airports company Aena chose StressFreeCarRental.com as one of five international winners to receive an investment of €50,000.

StressFreeCarRental.com is the only UK based company to be selected for the programme and will use the investment to develop a pilot project to improve the passenger experience for AENA’s customers.

A total of 514 proposals were considered for the programme, with companies from over 40 countries participating.

The selected startups will also be eligible for a contract with AENA worth up to €2m.

Aena Ventures selected five tech startups in the growth phase, with the aim of them adding value to Aena and developing a pilot project in a real airport environment and with the help of the companies’ internal teams.

Each of the five winners was selected after winning a series of category challenges and being judged as most worthy of investment in their respective areas.

UK startup stressfreecarrental.com was the winner of the ‘Airport Destination’ challenge. It provides a stress-free vehicle rental platform, offering car rental customers a simplified and transparent user experience.

John Charnock of stressfreecarrental.com said: “It’s an exciting time to be working in the travel sector as we see numbers recovering to pre-pandemic levels. This investment and pilot project will help us to demonstrate the capabilities of our technology in an airport commercial environment.

“To be chosen as one of just five winners and the only one from the UK from a field of more than 500 entries is testament to the quality of the technology we have created along with the skills, knowledge and experience of our team.”

The second edition of Aena Ventures is part of Aena’s strategic plan for innovation and digital transformation which promotes innovation and takes advantage of technology and new business models to design the ‘airport of the future’.

Other winners included Norwegian start-up BagID, which specialises in electronic luggage tags, and Copenhagen Optimization, which won the ‘Data Driven Airport’ challenge. The startup works on improving airport operational efficiency through data-driven solutions, with a particular focus on optimising passenger flows.

The companies can also participate in round tables where experts from the entrepreneurial ecosystem will share their experiences, knowledge and visions about the future of the sector.

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