SME-focused business travel booking platform, TravelPerk, complemented the $160 million in equity and debt it raised in a Series D last April with an additional $115 million – ending the round at $275 million.
TravelPerk said its business is now valued at $1.3 billion – meaning it has achieved coveted ‘unicorn’ status.
In total, it has raised $409 million since its founding in 2015.
The company declined to release a valuation when it received the previous slice of equity and debt last year, so the Barcelona-based startup looks more confident in 2022 versus spring 2021.
That said, it’s unclear how much of the $115 million tranche is equity versus debt — a spokeswoman for the startup declined to provide a breakdown or a clear answer when we asked, saying only, “This round is a mix of equity and debt financing.”
The final installment of Round D was led by US venture capital firm General Catalyst, a new investor in the deal, along with current backer Kinnevik.
Another investor in this slice of Series D, Gillian Tans, former chairman and CEO of Booking.com – which is investing in personal capacity – is joining the board of directors alongside Joel Cutler, an early investor in Stripe, Airbnb and Kayak.
Commenting in a statement, Tans said: “I have worked in the travel industry for many years and TravelPerk is the one company that never ceases to amaze me. It has solidified its leadership position over the past two years in challenging times for the travel industry, emerging stronger than ever before. They are innovative and have been able to anticipate and meet their customers’ changing needs through major acquisitions, new market entries and product designs. I am honored to join as an investor and the Board of Directors of TravelPerk and to help the company achieve a position of global leadership.”
General Catalyst MD Joel Cutler added in another statement of support: “Hybrid and remote work is undoubtedly here to stay, but a Zoom call will never be able to replicate the benefits of face-to-face, in-person interaction. We have no doubt that business travel will continue to grow and thrive for years to come, with TravelPerk a clear leader in the space, and we are excited to participate in this funding round.”
It has certainly been a difficult two years for the travel industry in general – and for work travel in particular – given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to multiple conference cancellations and accelerated tools and technology around virtual meetings, which offer a low-friction, low-cost alternative to business travel to physical meetings.
In-person industry events have started to pick up again in the past year – with major tech conferences such as the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress, Web Summit and CES (earlier this year) taking place in some capacity – but typically it’s been heavily attended. reduced compared to pre-pandemic years.
Streaming remains a popular choice for workers and employers to avoid the risk and problems associated with pandemic-era business travel.
Despite obvious demand-side challenges for business travel, TravelPerk has continued to show a bullish front throughout this period – operating a no layoffs policy and investing in a number of acquisitions aimed at preparing for the changes triggered by COVID-19 in the way People are. traveling for work.
It has also managed to attract investors to continue supporting its platform as it reconfigures its feature mix to meet changing business travel needs.
TravelPerk said the D Series will be used to double down on product development – with a focus on building tools for an era of hybrid work. Although, its focus is on trying to expand on the part of the physically co-located work that is going on.
A recent feature, added to the TravelPerk platform in November, is an event organization tool designed to encourage customers to plan and book in-person gatherings, such as an outdoor venue, a party or a new starters meeting. “TravelPerk Events allow remote and hybrid teams to connect in real life,” reads their marketing pitch for the tool.
“As time passes, it becomes clear that there will be no substitute for the human touch. We are seeing data on our platform and we are feeling it,” argues CEO Avi Meir in a statement. “While some technologies are focused on virtual interactions, TravelPerk is building the technology that will help us come together in real life.”
The startup is also pouring money into developing what it calls “sustainable” travel solutions.
last autumn TravelPerk has acquired a UK-based corporate responsibility consultancy called Susterra to bolster its ability to provide tools for clients to calculate a travel-related carbon footprint.
It was already offering carbon offsets to try to lubricate reserves, despite the existential challenge posed by climate change – which will require rapid and massive global reductions in carbon emissions if humanity is to avoid environmental catastrophe, thus posing an obvious challenge to the growth of travel industry.
However, TravelPerk is doing the opposite of downgrading its growth prospects.
He said expansion in the US is another focus for the D-Series – a market that became the biggest a year ago when it acquired US rival NexTravel.
It also plans to use the funding to double growth in its other big market: Europe.
Since 2019 (so pre-pandemic), TravelPerk said its business has grown 4x in terms of annualized revenue. He also said he has doubled his rate of customer acquisition – although a considerable part of the recent integration has likely come from acquisitions during that period.
In addition to buying US-based NexTravel early last year, it also acquired UK-based Click Travel last summer, at the time the largest business travel platform in the country.