Flash Pack, a London-headquartered adventure travel company for solo travellers in their 30s and 40s, has secured $6.2M (€5.8M) in funding. The round was led by JamJar Investments, with participation from existing Czech investment firm PPF Group.
Flash Pack was founded in 2014 by Radha Vyas with the help of her husband, Lee Thompson. This new investment comes almost two years after the company was relaunched with the support of a “multimillion-pound” investment from PPF after collapsing due to travel restrictions during the pandemic.
Following its relaunch, Flash Pack now has a team of 60 in Britain and some scattered worldwide. The company has recorded a turnover of £20M (€22.9M).
In 2022, only 2 per cent of venture capital funding went to female founders. This number is even lower for female founders of South Asian descent (0.8 per cent). This means Vyas is one of the few South Asian female founders to have secured funding at this stage of their business.
Expanding with new funds
The new funds will facilitate the company’s expansion in the US, with plans to triple its workforce over the next six months. The country has emerged as Flash Pack’s fastest-growing market, with 60 per cent of its overall travel sales brought by US travellers.
“We could either be a British company and do America a bit and sell to America from here, or we go there and do America properly,” says Vyas in an interview with The Times.
“We are incredibly excited to continue our success within the US market, creating even more friendships in the process,” adds Vyas.
The fresh funds will also be allocated towards strengthening the company’s product and platform by recruiting technology professionals.
“At JamJar, we’re on a mission to invest in and help grow early-stage consumer businesses who are using tech to disrupt their categories, as well as having a positive impact on the world,” says Richard Reed, JamJar Investments co-founder.
“Under Radha’s leadership, Flash Pack has escaped the fate of the pandemic and come out better than ever, and so we have high hopes for what they will achieve over the next three years,” adds Reed.
Filling market gap
Flash Pack fills a gap in the travel market that was previously only served by off-the-shelf, budget-friendly tours for people in their 20s or more expensive tours for travellers in their 50s and older.
The founders said the company’s sole objective is to foster a million friendships by curating meaningful connections and refining the group dynamics on each trip.
“Solo travel has rapidly grown in popularity as people look to make up for lost time and expand their horizons, and the recent investment indicates the value and opportunity in this growing trend,” says Vyas.
According to Reed of JamJar Investments, Flash Pack is revolutionising how people travel and interact with one another. To date, the company has built a community with over 130,000 Flashpackers in more than 15 countries. Data from Flash Pack also show that 80 per cent of past travellers remain in touch, and the company helped create 50,000 friendships in 2019.