1.2 C
London
Thursday, February 9, 2023

WeTravel Books $27 Million to Build Fintech and More for Tailor-Made Group Travel • londonbusinessblog.com

Must read

South Korean minister sacked for falling in love with Halloween crowd

SEOUL, South Korea — The opposition-controlled South Korean parliament on Wednesday voted to impeach Interior and Security Minister Lee Sang-min, holding him accountable for...

Nintendo releases trailers for new Zelda and Pikmin games • londonbusinessblog.com

Nintendo hosted a 45-minute Nintendo Direct live stream on Wednesday, revealing upcoming games and updates for Nintendo Switch. As many players expected, Nintendo shared a...

Google announces global rollout of AI-powered ‘multisearch’ on mobile devices • londonbusinessblog.com

To get a roundup of londonbusinessblog.com's biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3PM PST, register here. Hello crispy treats, I...

Lee Soo-man is suing SM Entertainment for violating the agency’s rules

Lee Soo's agent, Hwawoo Legal Firm, released a statement on February 7 outlining his position on suing SM Entertainment for violating corporate rules. ...
Shreya Christinahttps://londonbusinessblog.com
Shreya has been with londonbusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider londonbusinessblog.com team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

Travel is back on the investment radar, with both consumers and business users moving again after a long pandemic of staying in one place. Today has a startup called We travel — which builds technology for the specific needs of group travel — has raised $27 million, money it will use to expand its business after strong growth over the past year.

The company provides payments and other tools to some 3,000 businesses and serves 500,000 customers using its platform. Transaction volumes have grown by 30% and revenues are currently at 3x pre-Covid levels. And CEO and co-founder Johannes Koeppel said he believes those numbers will double again in 2023 “as a conservative estimate.”

The Series B will be led by Left Lane Capital, with previous backers Swift Ventures and Base10 also participating, alongside angel investors including Victor Jacobsson, one of Klarna’s co-founders.

WeTravel had previously raised just $7 million in the 8 years since its inception. We have learned from sources that this Series B was made with a valuation of just over $100 million.

Fittingly, the startup has done a bit of traveling itself. Originally, Keoppel and his two co-founders Garib Mehdiyev (CTO) and Zaky Prabowo (CMO) had moved from the Netherlands to the Bay Area to start the business, but found it impossible to navigate the visa waters to find engineers and other technical talent as well. past. So in 2019, the three founders of WeTravel moved back across the pond to the Netherlands. Covid paid for the idea that a startup should have its team in one place, and today the majority of the company’s business team and customers are in the US, and it’s incorporated there, while the three founders, as well as the product of WeTravel and engineering teams, are all in Amsterdam.

The gap in the market that WeTravel is looking for is one that ironically seems to have been created with the growth of online travel services.

In the old, pre-internet days, travel agents were the boss when it came to booking tickets and general vacations for many consumers and businesses, both individuals and groups. Online tools have changed the game for individuals, but interestingly enough, the same doesn’t apply to groups who, for example, want to book a multi-day trip or retreat that may involve multiple hotels, activities and food, may involve multiple people, multiple locations, potentially hundreds of suppliers (not only hotels and airlines, but also restaurants, tour operators, insurance companies and many more), and the need for flexible payment options – different people paying different amounts, payments in installments and lump sum payments that have to be paid in turn. divided among different suppliers.

“The most important thing is not so much about paying, but about what happens next,” Keoppel said, “what the tour company has to do with these funds. A typical trip might cost the user $10, the vast majority of which goes to suppliers. is about fund management, and the more the journey was involved, the greater the number of suppliers, from restaurants and transportation companies to airlines and hotels and more.” On top of that, there are transfer fees and different payment methods from company to company, country to country.

WeTravel’s platform encompasses two main parts of that process: helping those who put together the group travel to organize suppliers and plan everything; and then handle the different aspects of the payment process, be it setting up installments, or working with different currencies and payment methods, and paying out to different vendors according to their individual terms.

Keoppel describes the fintech side of the business as “the PayPal for travel” and says it’s complex enough that companies like PayPal, Stripe, and other big names in online payments haven’t really been able to address the specific market segment WeTravel serves. especially when used in conjunction with the first part of its product set to coordinate routes and suppliers.

Keoppel believes this is a template we may see more of in the B2B fintech world. “My belief is that in the coming years there will be more dedicated SaaS platforms that integrate payments as part for specific industries,” he said. (Indeed, today you already have some left to tackle this for beauty and wellness, for example, with companies like Fresha, Boulevard and Style Seat building specifically for that industry’s needs.)

This is also something that WeTravel’s customers have tried, but haven’t been able to build themselves. As travel agents have become “travel consultants” and focus on these customized travel experiences, some, he said, have moved to “custom systems that they build themselves, but what I realize is that what’s missing is the end-customer’s experience.” is. . They don’t have the time to build the fancy billing system plus payment methods and everything else.”

One thing WeTravel doesn’t currently do is offer discoveries to its users – that is, travel consultants can still turn to their little black books, or these days maybe TripAdvisor, Yelp or other recommendation and discovery platforms, to find interesting restaurants and more. find . This is something WeTravel could potentially move towards as it grows.

`An important elephant in the room is what happens when other major travel platforms think about how they can do more in this area: they already have all the major supplier relationships and it could be a matter of building or buying tools to meet these use-cases. case.

Vinny Pujji, who led the investment for Left Lane, remembers his parents once running a travel agency, “so this was a cool one for me to see,” he said. “You secretly run into big markets and this is definitely one of them.”

He noted that the Covid winter that has descended on travel appears to be thawing even in the current economic climate.

“The data tells us that travel is now largely back,” he said. He points out that the company has grown 3x since 2019, underlining that WeTravel in particular would have proven the axiom if a startup can survive the pandemic, stop it completely. “Church groups, students, there are more stable income streams here than just destination bachelorette parties.”

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest article

South Korean minister sacked for falling in love with Halloween crowd

SEOUL, South Korea — The opposition-controlled South Korean parliament on Wednesday voted to impeach Interior and Security Minister Lee Sang-min, holding him accountable for...

Nintendo releases trailers for new Zelda and Pikmin games • londonbusinessblog.com

Nintendo hosted a 45-minute Nintendo Direct live stream on Wednesday, revealing upcoming games and updates for Nintendo Switch. As many players expected, Nintendo shared a...

Google announces global rollout of AI-powered ‘multisearch’ on mobile devices • londonbusinessblog.com

To get a roundup of londonbusinessblog.com's biggest and most important stories delivered to your inbox every day at 3PM PST, register here. Hello crispy treats, I...

Lee Soo-man is suing SM Entertainment for violating the agency’s rules

Lee Soo's agent, Hwawoo Legal Firm, released a statement on February 7 outlining his position on suing SM Entertainment for violating corporate rules. ...

Most people can tweet again, but Twitter is still having problems

However, Twitter seems to be recovering from technical issues that prevented people from tweeting problems with DMsand access to TweetDeck still seems to persist....