Travel & tourism

TravelPerk Raises $160M Series D As Travel Prepares For A Rebound

Business travel platform TravelPerk has raised $160 million in equity and debt funding after a tough year for the travel industry as a whole.

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The company, which was founded in 2015 and has its U.S. headquarters in Chicago, allows companies to book and manage their travel with flexible scheduling. The Series D round, which brings TravelPerk’s total funding to $294 million, was led by Greyhound Capital.

Travel in general took a big hit in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with business travel being reduced as companies adjusted to working remotely. But while 2020 taught many companies that some meetings could and should be done over Zoom, some jobs required showing up in person, CEO Avi Meir said in an interview with Crunchbase News.

“We knowledge workers sometimes forget that some people’s jobs are physical, on the ground, and they need to travel as well,” Meir said. 

Despite the travel industry facing challenges last year, TravelPerk was able to avoid layoffs and grow its customer base by 80 percent, Meir said. The company moved its customer service team, which was seeing much fewer inquiries, to other parts of the company and re-trained them, and spent last year focusing on investing in its product. In July, TravelPerk acquired Albatross API, which provides information on COVID-19 travel restrictions and health guidelines, and in January acquired business travel platform NexTravel. 

Now with the new funding, the company will continue investing in its product and look to grow aggressively, particularly through acquisitions. The U.S., U.K. and continental Europe are the company’s largest markets.

Business travel pre-COVID was a $1.3 trillion market globally, Greyhound Capital investor Ines Verschueren said in an interview, so even if it doesn’t bounce back 100 percent, it’s still a large market for TravelPerk to tackle.

Greyhound Capital started as a customer of TravelPerk before becoming an investor. The firm was previously booking its own travel and running into issues when flights needed to be changed, so it signed up for TravelPerk after hearing about it. After getting to know the product as a customer, it decided to invest. 

“We believe business travel is an essential part of doing business,” Verschueren said. “We believe it’s going to rebound and maybe see it already. People are wanting to have in-person meetings, going back to the office, maybe not the full amount, but the human touch and these meetings are going to come back.”

TravelPerk last raised a 53 million-euro ($64 million) Series C in July 2019.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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