We couldn’t be more excited to announce that we raised $160 million between funding and debt in our Series D round! The round was led by our customer-turned investor Greyhound Capital. Our existing investors DST, Kinnevik, Target Global, Felix Capital, Spark Capital, Heartcore, LocalGlobe, and Amplo also participated. This funding represents a milestone for TravelPerk, marking the beginning of a new phase of growth and acceleration for us.
But that’s not all they see in us. Our CEO likes to say that throughout 2020, we were like a “bear that didn’t go into hibernation for the winter, but stayed outside getting a 6-pack”. What that means is that we didn’t let this year stop us. Amid all the adversity, TravelPerk didn’t lay anyone off and didn’t put operations on pause. What we did do was keep investing in our product and technology during the worst crisis the travel industry has ever seen. We kept growing and expanding, consolidating our position in markets like the US and UK. We acquired NexTravel and Albatross because we knew that we had to keep going.And that’s why our investors came to us. We had planned another round of investment for the end of the year, but we grew so much that the investors came earlier.
We all recognize the effect that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the travel industry in 2020. We’re proud to say that this year, in which business travel came to a halt, did not break us. If anything, we emerged bigger, stronger, and better.We spent the year building our resilience and future-proofing our product to prepare for the realities of the “next normal”. We took this as a time of reflection, to consider what the business travel of the future would look like, and what we could do to ready our product for our customer’s changing needs. So, what were our main achievements and innovations that led our growth and attracted this new funding?
- We made FlexiPerkthe most flexible change and cancelation service ever! TravelPerk customers can use FlexiPerk to alter or cancel any aspect of their trip at any time. No questions asked.
- We launched TravelSafe APIthat gives the entire travel sector access to real-time information on the latest travel restrictions worldwide. That’s right—any travel sector business can integrate this API quickly and seamlessly straight into their own platforms.
- We put traveler safety first with TravelCareby acquiring Albatross. We made sure that if any of our customers were traveling in these uncertain times, they would do so with all the safety information they need at the point of booking, and leading up to their trips.
- We introduced GreenPerkand gave all of our customers the opportunity to offset 100% of their business travel carbon footprint. Sustainable travel isn’t just a nice-to-have anymore. It’s a responsibility to our society and our planet.
- We continued to grow in the US in a year where business travel all but came to a halt. We were able to accelerate our growth by acquiring NexTravel, expanding our expertise, know-how, and inventory in the region.
So, you thought Bill Gates was right when he said that 50% of business travel would go away? Our investors don’t seem to agree. This funding is an extremely positive sign for the overall travel industry, infusing confidence in the fact that business travel will be back. If you’re already getting Zoom fatigue and are getting bored of interacting with people through a screen, there’s no need to worry. You will be safely on the road again soon.
If you think about it, business travel exists for one very simple reason. To help us forge human connections in the professional world. Yes, those connections are made in business to drive revenue, close deals, network, seek out new clients, find new jobs, and all that. But it all stems from our inherent, biological need to socialize.UCLA professor Matthew Lieberman said that “being socially connected is our brain’s lifelong passion. It’s been baked into our operating system for tens of millions of years.” (
UCLA) That holds all the more true today, in a world where COVID-19 has made clear how powerful these connections are both in our personal lives and in business.
We all admit that Zoom can achieve a lot, and can replace many business interactions. It is, however, a poor stand-in for human contact. Teammates need to come together to create. Managers need to give people a pat on the back for a job well done. Whole teams need to come together outside of work to put a personal touch to the professional relationship.
That’s why it’s so important to foster company culture and build meaningful relationships with colleagues, customers, and clients. And this is exactly what a business travel management platform like ours does. It facilitates the creation of these connections.The pandemic has also brought into sharp focus our need to evolve this offering. While this core need to connect has not changed, the landscape very much has. Factors like real-time information, full visibility, sustainability, and flexibility are more important than ever before. This investment is going to fuel us to keep building on the future of business travel to solve our customer’s travel needs in this new reality.