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TravelPerk seizes $ 21 million to make fewer business travel bookings

TravelPerk, a Barcelona-based SaaS start-up that has built an end-to-end business travel platform, has concluded a $ 21 million Series B round, led by Target Global and Felix Capital of London. Previous investors Spark Capital and Sunstone also participated in the round, alongside the new investor Amplo.

The last time we spoke to the startup in June 2016, while it was announcing a $ 7 million A series, it only had 20 clients. He is now claiming over 1,000, naming "high growth" companies such as Typeform, TransferWise, Outfittery, GetYourGuide, GoCardless, Hotjar, and CityJet among his clients, and touting Income 1,200% growth from one year to the next.

Co-founder and CEO Avi Meir tells us that the startup is "on the beat" to generate $ 100 million in GMV this year.

The founding idea of ​​Meir, in 2015, was to create a rewards program based on dynamic budgeting for business trips. But after conversations with potential customers about the pain points related to business travel, the team quickly targeted a greater number of travel booking issues.

We can now summarize the mission by trying to make the business trip less difficult – booking flights and hotels; administration tools to manage policies; analytic; customer service; all conducted as part of a "consumer-like experience" in order to satisfy the end users. Essentially, it offers end-to-end travel management.

"Travel and finance managers were frustrated with the way they currently manage travel and were looking for an all-in-one tool that works without having to compare rates with Skyscanner, be redirected to different websites, write 20 th. -mails with a travel agent to coordinate a simple trip for someone, and suffer from the bad user experience, "says Meir.

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"We understood that to solve business trips, there is no way around the problem and create the best OTA (online travel agency) in the world, combined with the best management tools needed to manage travel program and a smarter and smarter user experience that travelers will love.We thus became a full-fledged platform in direct competition with the big TMCs (management companies of travel) and old business tools (Amex GBT, Concur, Egencia …) . "

He claims that TravelPerk's unique business window now has the largest inventory of books in the world ("all travel agent inventory but also booking.com, Expedia, Skyscanner , Airbnb … virtually any flight / hotel on the internet – only we have that ").

At this point, the targeted users are SMEs (up to 1,500 employees), with technology and advice being the strongest sectors at present, although Meir says it "really makes all the difference." range". While the focus is currently on Europe, its main markets being the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain.

The TravelPerk business model is freemium – and its argument is that it allows customers to save more than a fifth of the annual business travel costs per year. compared to old business tools / travel agents due to lack of commissions, etc.

But it also offers a higher level with additional flexibility and benefits – such as corporate hotel rates and a travel agent service for group bookings – for those customers who want to pay to improve the experience.

In terms of competition, the main rivals are the "old travel agencies and TMC", according to Meir, as well as larger players such as Egencia (by Expedia) and Concur (SAP company)

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"There are some startups that do what we do in the United States like TripActions, NexTravel, as well as a few smaller ones that appear but are in an earlier phase," he notes.

"Since our first tour … TravelPerk has experienced incredible growth compared to any technological benchmark I know," he adds. "We have found a stronger market than we had imagined and we have grown much faster than expected and it seems everyone is unhappy with how they currently book and manage business trips. making it a $ 1.25 trillion market ready to be disrupted. "

The B Series will be scaled up "fast," with Meir arguing that TravelPerk has landed on a "rare opportunity" to drive the market.

"Organic growth has been extremely fast and we have an immediate opportunity to quickly move the business forward, doing what we are doing now on a larger scale," he says.

Commenting in a statement, Antoine Nussenbaum, partner at Felix Capital, also has a major chance. "The business travel industry is one of the world's largest markets to be disrupted online. At Felix Capital, we are very much convinced of a new era of consumerization of software and services. Company, "he explains

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While Shmuel Chafets, General Partner at Target Global describes TravelPerk as "very well positioned to be a market leader in business travel with a product that makes business travel as simple as and simple as personal journeys ".

"We are delighted to support such an experienced and dedicated team with a strong track record in the travel business," he said in a statement. "TravelPerk is our first investment in Barcelona, ​​we believe in a pan-European startup ecosystem and look forward to seeing more opportunities in this new startup center."

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Flush with new funding, the next task of the team is even more recruitment. "We are going to develop our teams with a focus on engineering, operations and customer support, and we are also planning to expand, opening local offices in 4-5 new countries over the next year. year and a half, "says Meir

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He notes that the company has gone from 20 to 100 employees in the last 12 months, but adds that she will continue to "aggressively hire".