This is among the first such corporate investment fund focused on travel sector, and smartly on business travel solutions. Will help foster the ecosystem beyond the silliness of social/consumer travel startups being funded these days.
Concur, the travel and expense management solutions giant and parent of trip itinerary service TripIt has a new $150 million fund, called “Concur Perfect Trip Fund” to invest in startups in the travel industry, focused primarily on solutions for business travelers.
As part of this strategy, Concur recently invested in Evature, developer of an Expert Virtual Agent (EVA) which provides natural-language search capabilities for online travel. In the past Concur has invested in startups such as Buuteeq, digital marketing system for hotels; Room 77, hotel search site; Yapta, provider of price tracking for the travel industry; Cleartrip, India’s leading online travel portal; and TaxiMagic, mobile consumer solutions for the ground transportation industry.
The only hitch/catch for travel startups interested in this fund: they will have to work through Concur’s “T&E Cloud” which is its name for its own platform to deliver its services. Which may be a dealbreaker for startups not willing to bet on one proprietary platform through one company.