London-based tripAbrood, a travel tech startup, has raised £645K (approx €740K) in its second Seed round of funding, bringing its total funding to just about £1M mark. The funding comes seven months after the startups’s September 2020 beta-launch.
Investors in this round
The round was led by Ben Davey, the former CEO of Barclays Ventures. In addition, other investors include Vic Walia, former Global Vice President Brand Marketing for Expedia Group; Charles Petruccelli, former President of Global Travel Services at American Express ; Andy Mullinger and James Meekings, co-founders of Funding Circle; Will Keith, former VC and head of sales and Origination at PrimaryBid and Michel Taride, former Group President of Hertz International.
With this development, Charles Petruccelli and Will Keith will join the tripAbrood board.
Charles Petruccelli, Chair of the tripAbrood board and former President of Global Travel Services at American Express, says, “tripAbrood is addressing a segment of customers that has been largely overlooked by all online booking platforms building its uniqueness on the power of AI. This explains the success of this second Seed round and the reason why it attracted such a panel of successful and experienced business angels.”
Digital version of a travel agent
tripAbrood is a “virtual family travel assistant” – an AI-driven travel platform for families to discover and book holidays. The platform provides personalised recommendations tailored for every user and in the process save them money through their personalised channel by providing market leading rates.
The startup was founded in 2019 by Alexa-Maria Rathbone Barker (formerly European Head of Analytics for Bloomberg) and Ketan Anand (formerly Engineering Lead at Lloyds Banking Group).
Ketan Anand, Co-founder of tripAbrood says, “By using a blend of travel data insights, AI and our industry knowledge, we have been building tripAbrood from the ground up to create a totally new kind of family travel discovery experience, one we know fits the pace and needs of parents today. The success of our funding efforts prove the power of our platform, and the growth potential for machine learning across the travel industry. We will continue to build tripAbrood, secure in the knowledge that our backers support our pioneering product development.”
tripAbrood claims to have seen a rapid growth in the recent past. Since its beta-launch with five key European destinations in September 2020 and despite COVID-related extensive travel restrictions, the business saw a 10 per cent conversion rate in its initial live release (versus an industry average of 3-5 per cent). A 700 per cent increase in their mailing list from September 2020 to April 2021.
Use of the funds
The raised capital from this round will be used to launch and scale tripAbrood’s global product to the UK market.
Alexa-Maria Rathbone Barker, co-founder of tripAbrood, and one of just 30 women from across the world selected to sit on the 2020 Techstars and Barclay’s programme #femalefoundersfirst, mentioned, “The closure of this latest funding round is a true validation of our vision and the traction that the world’s first AI-powered family travel assistant, called ‘Skye’, is already making in the market. Skye looks to guide users seamlessly through the discovery and booking process, narrowing options to those that are tailor made to their needs, and aiming to cut average search to booking times from 30 hours to just 10 minutes despite the global slow-down in travel.”
She further adds, “tripAbrood’s numbers clearly demonstrate our proof of concept, and show that there is a real consumer desire for a highly personalised yet simple to use family travel booking platform.”