Corporate travel is the theme this week. Companies want to make sure business trip spending is as efficient as possible, and that's where expense management software comes in.
Travel Startup Funding This Week
Each week we round up travel startups that have recently received or announced funding. Please email Travel Tech Reporter Justin Dawes at [email protected] if you have funding news.
Three startups involved in the travel industry announced fundraises this week totalling more than $316 million.
>>Ramp, a platform that helps companies manage a variety of expenses including travel, said it has raised $300 million in series D funding at a valuation of $5.8 billion.
It was co-led by Thrive Capital and Sands Capital, with participation from General Catalyst, Founders Fund, and former American Express CEO Ken Chenault, and other existing investors.
Valuation for this round was lower than the last, according to a blog post by Ramp CEO Eric Glyman.
“While today’s valuation is lower than our peak in late 2021, given the broader startup market valuation reset and increased cost of capital, we know it reflects exceptional performance by our team and support from our customers. We care deeply about delivering our investors a similarly exceptional return over the long run, but we are not interested in the short-term ups and downs of the broader market,” Glyman said.
The company earlier this year launched Ramp for Travel through partnerships with Spain-based corporate travel agency TravelPerk and Flight Centre’s Corporate Traveler, as well as Lyft and WeWork. The idea is that with these agencies, Ramp automatically collects receipts from any bookings, removing the need to submit expenses.
The travel platform also integrates each client’s travel policies and provides their employees with corporate cards, which are embedded with controls and limits on flights, hotels, and more.
Ramp now has more than 15,000 clients, including Eventbrite, Shopify, Poshmark, and Discord. The company said its transaction volume has increased by over six times since its previous fundraise.
The funding will go toward expanding business, hiring, and strengthening the product.
>>FlyAkeed, a corporate travel platform based in Saudi Arabia, has raised $15.2 million in series A funding.
It was led by Saudi Arabia-owned Sanabel Investments and Elm Company, with participation from Artal Capital and Al Rajhi Partners .
FlyAkeed said its platform can be used by client companies to book travel for employees, taking into account policies of each respective company. Once the employee makes a reservation through the platform, the action is forwarded to the company’s travel manager for approval. The travel manager can also manage and monitor all reservations through the platform.
The funding will go toward expanding into more regions of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, as well as building out payments and cost management tools for business trips.
>>Goodwings, a corporate travel management platform focused on sustainability, has raised $1.5 million in a late seed round. The funds come from Global Cleantech Capital, JTB USA, and existing investors.
The Denmark-based company said its travel management platform includes features meant to measure and reduce the carbon footprint related to travel. One feature is that when a company books a business trip through the platform, Goodwings purchases sustainable aviation fuel on the client’s behalf. Goodwings also offers a cashback model meant to incentivize steps taken to reduce footprint.
The funding will go toward expanding business and adding tools that can help the growing number of businesses that are required to disclose emissions to reach net-zero goals.
|Ramp||Series D||Thrive Capital and Sands Capital||$300 Million|
|FlyAkeed||Series A||Sanabel Investments and Elm Company||$15.2 million|
|Goodwings||Late seed||Unspecified||$1.5 million|
Skift Cheat Sheet
Seed capital is money used to start a business, often led by angel investors and friends or family.
Series A financing is typically drawn from venture capitalists. The round aims to help a startup’s founders make sure that their product is something that customers truly want to buy.
Series B financing is mainly about venture capitalist firms helping a company grow faster. These fundraising rounds can assist in recruiting skilled workers and developing cost-effective marketing.
Series C financing is ordinarily about helping a company expand, such as through acquisitions. In addition to VCs, hedge funds, investment banks, and private equity firms often participate.
Series D, E, and, beyond These mainly mature businesses and the funding round may help a company prepare to go public or be acquired. A variety of types of private investors might participate.
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Photo credit: Ramp's latest valuation is $5.8 billion. Andrea Natali / Unsplash