Most would agree that business travel hasn’t kept up with changing markets, shifting consumer behaviors, and new technologies. TripActions believes there’s a real opportunity to change this.
Business travel helps companies grow their business, allows colleagues to meet face-to-face, and gives employees the chance to grow professionally and explore new locales. However, it isn’t always as easy and enjoyable as it should be for the employees doing the traveling. TripActions, the corporate travel management company, wants to change this by focusing on the human side of business travel.
TripActions is built off a mission to bring people together –– in person –– through business travel. The company realizes that many workers don’t enjoy traveling for business, and worse, work trips are often an impediment to maintaining physical and mental health and work-life balance. Archaic booking experiences play a big role in business travel frustrations as well. While global business travel spend is expected to top $1.6 trillion by 2020, according to The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the industry has seen little innovation as far as booking goes. This is especially frustrating knowing how user-friendly and flexible leisure travel tools have become.
To take the pain out of traveling for work, TripActions focuses simply on “obsessing over the traveler experience.” This might seem obvious for a business travel tech company, but TripActions has put in the research to understand the inefficiencies and stress that often comes with business travel –– and has set out to improve these experiences. The company mapped out 40 different physical “actions” that travelers take, from booking a flight, to arriving back home –– each one a potential pain point.
“The reality is that business travel is incredibly important. When we think of how powerful in-person connections are, whether that be a client’s handshake or team’s chemistry, we intuitively know that these connections serve as the foundation of all relationships. They are critical for business,” said Ariel Cohen, CEO of TripActions. “But work travel takes us away from our families and our routines, and is therefore inherently stressful. We want to make getting to our destination and returning back home as simple as possible.”
TripActions also provides travelers and business travel decision makers with a sleek mobile tool to book travel, but it aims to go beyond that. While the term “personalization” has quickly become an overhyped industry buzzword, TripActions says that providing tailored experiences and putting the traveler first is at the core of its philosophy.
Customization drives everything they do, from tailored search results to bespoke policies and customer support experiences. Users can choose specific airline seats, input their loyalty memberships, easily make last-minute changes, and access a 24/7 chat service in the app. Further, should anything go wrong –– like cancellations, delays, or an impending missed connection, TripActions’ proactive customer support team is two steps ahead in finding a quick solution for travelers.
So far, this traveler-first approach has proven to be a successful strategy. TripActions recently closed a $51 million Series B funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Zeev Ventures, which brings the total capital raised by the company to nearly $80 million. The funding will be used to expand its customer support infrastructure globally. The company recently announced the openings of its Amsterdam and London offices, and have shared plans to expand to Asia-Pacific by the end of the year.
TripActions is approaching over 1,000 corporate clients in just two years, including Box, Castlight, Foursquare, Procore, Allbirds, and Strava. According to the company, TripActions users take only six minutes to book compared with the one hour or more that business travelers usually spend on booking a trip. It also reports that 97 percent of travelers at companies that use TripActions use it to book their travel — an adoption rate well above the corporate travel industry average.
“I think of the 40 travel ‘actions’ as 40 different opportunities we have to make travel easier and simpler,” said Cohen. “TripActions’ ultimate goal is to help companies provide their on-the-go road warriors with a more enjoyable experience, so that in the end, everybody wins. The business grows and the traveler is happy.”