Skift Take

Having hard proof that Rocketrip's product influences employee behavior will be a major selling point for the startup and inform its incentive system.

Rocketrip, a startup that helps corporations save money on business travel by incentivizing employees to save on bookings, announced today that it raised an additional $3 million in funding as part of a Series A round.

Rocketrip previously raised $2.6 million as part of its Series A round, and the latest investment brings ithe company’s total funding to $6.2 million.

This latest $3 million investment was led by current investors Canaan Partners and Genacast Ventures with participation from new investors CrunchFund and Paul Buchheit.

“The money raised from this A-1 round will be used primarily to drive our sales efforts as well as build out our product and engineering team to improve usability and integrate new features,” says Rocketrip founder and CEO Dan Ruch.

Rocketrip models its rewards concept on Google’s internal business traveler incentive program.

Rocketrip’s Smart Budget algorithm provides business travelers with a budget that considers a corporation’s travel policy, real-time trip pricing, and available inventory.

Travelers can then book airfares, hotels, and rental cars on preferred travel sites. Rocketrip rewards a company’s employees with Rocketrip points, which can redeemed for cash or gift cards, every time they find better-than expected fares.

“As a former Google employee, I’ve personally seen the benefit a reward-based travel policy offers both employees and finance departments,” said Paul Buchheit, a new Rocketrip investor and the creator of Gmail. “I know the model works.”

The first behavioral shifts Rocketrip has seen among employees at participating companies is choosing the lowest fare at the time of booking, purchasing tickets more than 21 days in advance, and booking coach over business class.

The company was even more surprised to see employees booking rooms through Airbnb, staying with friends instead of hotels, choosing trains over planes, and using their personal miles to pay for flights.

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Tags: booking, business travel, startups

Photo credit: Rocketrip incentivizes business travelers to save money on bookings by giving them a piece of the savings. Rocketrip

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