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'Unicorn' TripActions eyes the UK market

Ciara Govern, general manager, EMEA

American corporate travel management platform TripActions has opened new offices in London and Amsterdam.

Founded in 2015, the company counts several major technology companies as customers, including Survey Monkey, Dropbox and Square, as well as ground transportation company Lyft. The London office, located in Hoxton, will be run by Elad Cohen, UK general manager.

Last week the company raised $154 million in new funding, bringing total funding to date to $232 million. As a result, one of its founding investors, Dovi Frances, claims the company is now valued at $1 billion. Frances, a venture capitalist and founder of SGVC, said TripActions has now been inducted into the "Global Unicorn Club". A "unicorn" is a privately held start-up company valued at over $1 billion.

He also believes the company is set to grow further. Writing on medium.com, Frances added: "SGVC strongly believe that TripActions has all the ingredients required to become a decacorn [a company valued at over $10 billion] within the next 5 years.

"We see tremendous potential for TripActions to become a global company with an undisputed market leadership in the $1.5 trillion business travel industry. We believe they have what it takes to outperform many of the incumbents who currently dominate the marketplace."

'Stone age'
Ben Horowitz, co-founder and general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, which led the recent $154 million "Series C funding", added: "TripActions is reshaping the stone age corporate travel industry with a solution that uses modern software and machine learning to deliver a personalized, delightful experience for road warriors and their employers."

The company will use some of the new funds to develop TripActions Luxe, its "white-glove VIP programme for executive travel needs", as well as a meetings and event solution for group travel.

The company has a global inventory of 1.5 million hotel rooms, as well as flights, cars and trains. Ciara Govern (pictured above), general manager, EMEA, told BBT the platform had an average 97 per cent traveller adoption rate, and that it takes six minutes to book travel on average – “compared to the one to two-hour time window with most booking platforms”. 

The company also features a model that rewards bookers with Amazon vouchers for choosing cheaper options.

Despite its technology-oriented customer base, Govern said: “We support customers across multiple industries – every company, regardless of industry, needs to book travel to make their in-person meetings.”

UK partner
Global TMC group ATPI acts as TripActions’ fulfilment partner, where the American firm does not have its own resources in place; the TMC inherited this role following its merger with US-based Direct Travel, TripActions’ original fulfilment partner, last year.

With its recent round of funding and aggressive growth plan, including a further two office openings in the Asia-Pacific region, the question remains whether ATPI will look to leverage its relationship with TripActions and offer the tool to its own customers in the UK.

tripactions.com

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