SoftBank Leads TravelPerk’s $104 Million Funding Round, Focusing on AI for Corporate Travel Automation

TravelPerk, a Barcelona-based startup specializing in corporate travel and expenses automation, raises $104 million in a funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. The funds will be used for AI development and product expansion.

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Barcelona-based startup TravelPerk has secured $104 million in a funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with participation from existing investors Kinnevik and Felix Capital. The company plans to utilize the funding to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) development and expand its product offerings.

AI-Powered Corporate Travel: TravelPerk leverages AI technologies, including machine learning and neural networks, to automate manual tasks associated with corporate travel. The platform aims to streamline processes such as finding the best prices for flights and accommodations.

SoftBank’s Investment: SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led the funding round, investing $70 million. The round marks an extension of TravelPerk’s “D-1” funding round. SoftBank’s significant investment signals its confidence in TravelPerk’s potential to disrupt corporate travel through AI-driven technologies.

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Valuation and Growth: The latest funding round increases TravelPerk’s valuation to $1.4 billion, slightly higher than the $1.3 billion valuation from its previous funding round a year ago. The company experienced a 90% growth in gross profit in 2023, driven by AI and automation. It generated annualized revenues of $150 million in 2022.

Operational Efficiency: TravelPerk emphasizes its lean operating model compared to legacy travel agencies. The company achieved a profit margin of 60% in 2023, significantly higher than many travel agents operating on low single-digit gross margins.

AI for Back Office Automation: CEO Avi Meir downplays the hype around AI, stating that TravelPerk focuses on practical AI adoption to address cumbersome issues in the travel business. The company aims to automate back-office manual processes, contributing to its operational efficiency.

Growth Plans: TravelPerk intends to accelerate its gross profit growth using the new funding. The funds will support continued company growth and expansion of its product offerings. The company aims to achieve monthly profitability by the end of 2024 and quarterly profitability by the end of 2025.

Post-Pandemic Resurgence: After facing challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, TravelPerk has benefited from the resurgence in international travel. The company experienced its best year in 2023, achieving more than 70% year-over-year revenue growth.

Competitive Landscape: TravelPerk competes with entities such as American Express, BCD Travel, SAP Concur, and Navan in the corporate travel management space.

IPO Plans: While TravelPerk currently has no immediate plans for an initial public offering (IPO), CEO Avi Meir indicates the company would be “ready” to go public when the time is right.

TravelPerk’s latest funding round, led by SoftBank, reflects a significant endorsement of the company’s AI-driven approach to corporate travel automation. The funds will empower TravelPerk to further invest in AI development, enhance its product offerings, and continue its growth trajectory in the competitive corporate travel management space.