TravelPerk, a Barcelona-based SaaS startup that built an end-to-end business travel platform, closed a $ 21 million B-series, led by Target Global based in Berlin and Felix Capital of London. Previous investors Spark Capital and Sunstone also participated in the round, along with the new investor Amplo.
The last time we spoke to the startup in June 2016 – as announced by a 7 million dollar A series – it had only 20 customers. It currently boasts over 1,000 “high growth” companies that control names such as Typeform, TransferWise, Outfittery, GetYourGuide, GoCardless, Hotjar and CityJet, and contribute to revenue growth of 1,200% year-on-year.
The co-founder and CEO Avi Meir tells us that the start is “in peace” to generate $ 100 million in GMV this year.
The idea behind Meir, in 2015, was to create a reward program based on the dynamic budget for business trips. But after conversations with potential customers on their critical points, the team quickly focused on a wider package of business travel booking problems.
The mission can now be summarized in an attempt to make the whole travel business trip less worse – by booking flights and hotels; administer the tools for managing policies; analysis; Customer care; all carried out within what is referred to as a “consumer-like experience” to keep end users happy. Basically, it offers end-to-end travel management for its target business users.
“Travel and finance managers were frustrated by the way they currently manage travel and have looked for an all-in-one tool that WORKS ONLY without having to compare rates with Skyscanner, be redirected to different websites, write 20 e-mails back and forth with a travel agent to coordinate a simple trip for someone and a bad user experience, “says Meir.
“We have understood that to adjust business trips there is no way to get around them, but dive into the head and create the best OTA (online travel agency) in the world, combined with the best administration tools needed to manage the travel program and a consumer-grade consumer, an intelligent user experience that travelers will love, so we’ve become a true platform competing with the big travel management companies and the legacy business tools (Amex GBT, Concur, Egencia). .). ”
It claims that TravelPerk’s one-stop travel shop now has the largest inventory available in the world (“all the inventory of travel agents but also booking.com, Expedia, Skyscanner, Airbnb … almost any flight / hotel on internet – only we have it “).
The target users at this stage are SMEs (up to 1,500 employees), with technology and advice currently its strongest verticals, even if Meir says that “really runs the range”. While the current focus is Europe, with its main markets such as the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain.
The business model of TravelPerk is freemium – and its step is that it can save customers more than one-fifth of the annual business travel costs compared to corporate tools / legacy travel agents due to the lack of commissions, free customer support, etc.
But it also offers a premium 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 upgrade the experience.
On the front of the competition the main rivals are “old corporate travel agencies and TMC”, according to Meir, together with bigger players like Egencia (of Expedia) and Concur (company SAP).
“There are some startups that are doing what we are doing in the US like TripActions, NexTravel, as well as some smaller ones that are popping up but they are at an earlier stage,” he notes.
“From our first round … TravelPerk has seen incredible growth compared to any technology benchmark I know,” he adds. “We found a stronger product market than we imagined and grew much faster than expected, and everyone seems unhappy with the way they are currently booking and managing business trips, which makes this a $ 1 market, 25 billion, ready for the interruption “.
The B series will be scaled “fast”, with Meir claiming that TravelPerk has landed on a “rare opportunity” to drive the market.
“Organic growth has been extremely rapid and we have an immediate opportunity to scale the business quickly, doing what we are doing at this time on a larger scale,” he says.
Commenting on a statement, Antoine Nussenbaum, partner of Felix Capital, also spies a great opportunity. “The corporate travel industry is one of the largest global markets yet to be shut down online, and we have a strong belief in a new era of consumer software business in Felix Capital,” he says.
While Target Global’s global partner, Shmuel Chafets, describes TravelPerk as “very well positioned to be a market leader in business travel space with a product that makes business travel simple and hassle-free like personal travel”.
“We are thrilled to support such an experienced and dedicated team with solid experience in travel space,” he adds in a statement of support. “TravelPerk is our first investment in Barcelona and we believe in a pan-European start-up ecosystem and we look forward to seeing more opportunities in this emerging startup hub.”
Flush with new funding, the team’s next task is even more recruitment. “We will develop our teams around the world with a focus on engineering, operations and customer support, and we are planning to expand, opening local offices in 4-5 new countries by the year and a half,” says Meir.
He notes that the company has grown from 20 to 100 employees in the last 12 months, but adds that it will continue to “take on aggressively”.