Startups Venture

Duffel Raises Second 2019 Round, A $30M Series B To Launch Its Travel Platform

This morning, London-based Duffel announced that it has raised a $30 million Series B round of funding. The new financing event was led by Index Ventures. According to the company, prior investors Blossom Capital and Benchmark participated in the round as well.

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Duffel, a startup focused on building the connective digital tissue between airlines and booking agents, has raised more than once this year.

The company, founded in 2017 according to Crunchbase data, also closed and announced its Series A earlier this year. That round, a $21.5 million infusion announced this June, was led by Benchmark. Blossom led the firm’s August 2018 Seed round of $4.7 million. Overall the company has raised a total of $56.3 million in known venture capital.

Why Should You Care?

It’s Monday morning and there is a deluge of new rounds to catch up on, so why should you care about this one?

A few reasons. First that it’s a UK-based firm that has raised twice in a year from American investors. That doesn’t happen too frequently. And, second, because what the startup is doing makes sense and could prove lucrative.

According to the company, Duffel helps “travel agencies to plug in directly to airlines’ reservation systems via an API so that they can pull real-time flight offers, make bookings” and so forth. This reminds us of Twilio somewhat. Twilio famously connected companies of any size to telephony services via APIs.

Twilio’s post-IPO, public-market ascent is now legendary. Sticking to our loose analogy, as the travel market is enormous, Duffel could find a neat spot inside of a place where being the handoff between supply and demand could prove lucrative.

The tech-powered travel-focused startup space is busy. But well-funded companies in the space like Klook ($521.5 million raised), Evaneos ($109.1 million raised), and TripActions ($481.5 million raised) don’t operate in the same space. Sifted reported this morning that Amadeus is a Duffel competitor of sorts, though larger by what we reckon are several orders of magnitude.

Capping, you probably haven’t heard of Duffel before today. That’s because it hadn’t launched. Now it has, with a big check in tow. How far it can get before it raises is our next question, but I’d bet you lunch that Duffel picks up more capital in 2020 if its debut goes well.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.

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