The global travel industry is skyrocketing with plenty of opportunity for innovation and disruption. Having said that, it’s no wonder that investors have been pumping money into travel-related startups.
Bohemian Birds Group has raised half a million euros from a number of travel-loving investors with a background at Booking.com and McKinsey. The ambition of the company is to become the market leader in incentive and student travel in the Benelux. The money will be used to further develop the product, marketing and sales and to expand the team.
Helps people to empty their bucket list!
The Dutch tour operator was founded in 2014 by Michiel Stoffels, Duco Vermeulen and Jasper Mutsaerts with the mission to help 100,000 people tick off their bucket list. Bohemian Birds Group was initially financed by 161 crowdfunding investors and now operates worldwide. In 2020, the company expects to go beyond the € 10 million turnover barrier.
Michiel Stoffels (CEO):
By investing in travel-specific IT, we can offer customized travel in a scalable way. In the coming years we will focus on growth in incentive travel. We notice that more and more companies are planning an annual trip to continue to inspire their staff and connect them to the organization. We organize the entire trip so that they can focus on what they are good at. In the long term, we also consider being active outside the Benelux. However, in the coming three years we still want to focus entirely on the Dutch-speaking market, where we still see a lot of opportunities.
In the Benelux, an estimated € 200 million per year is spent on incentive travel. This segment within the travel industry is highly fragmented and is further characterized by players with a traditional marketing & sales approach.
Jasper Mutsaerts (Chairman):
By using the latest growth hacking techniques in combination with a proactive offline sales approach, we want to help as many companies as possible with the organization of unforgettable trips for their employees. We are very happy that with this investment round we have not only brought in the capital, but also relevant knowledge about the (digital) travel industry.
One of the investors is Elisabeth Stevens (former Director of Booking.com). She helped Booking.com scale up from 300 to 18,000 employees. Elisabeth: “I like to share my experiences in the travel industry with young companies.”
Bohemian Birds Group has a very dedicated Non-Executive Board. Otto Verhage (Partner Bain) is responsible for the strategy of the company and is himself an avid traveller. For example, a sailing trip around the world was once on his bucket list.
Michiel Stoffels’ team has quickly been able to turn the student travel market upside down. We are now also doing this in the attractive business travel market. The investment helps us to gain a strong position here more quickly. It is wonderful to see that there is a lot of interest in this round from the crowdfunding investors that we have tied to us in previous rounds.
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