Barcelona-based TravelPerk becomes Spain’s latest unicorn with a €1.1 billion valuation

Barcelona’s global travel management platform, TravelPerk, has just secured an additional €101 million to reach a valuation of €1.1 billion and join the ranks of Spanish unicorn status. 

The new investment is led by new investor General Catalyst and existing investor Kinnevik. Gillian Tans, ex Chairwoman and CEO of Booking.com, who invested personally in this round, is joining the board of directors alongside Joel Cutler, an early investor in Stripe, Airbnb, and Kayak.

Founded in 2015, TravelPerk is a pioneering next-generation all-in-one business travel platform offering travellers the freedom they want whilst providing companies with the oversight and control they need.

This new funding marks an exciting beginning to 2022 for the Spanish startup system, as well as for the travel industry as a whole, which has been in a rather uneasy position for the past two years. 

TravelPerk has been growing from strength to strength since it launched, growing 4x in terms of annualised revenue since 2019, as well as doubling its customer acquisition rate in the same time frame. 

Founder Avi Meir was one of our key speakers at the 2019 edition of the EU-Startups Summit, and we also chatted to him in 2020 when he was optimistic about the future of the travel industry, despite the pandemic. Avi also shared his insights on the future of business travel in 2021 – you can check that out here.

The Barcelona-based company has been reinventing the way SMBs and travellers manage to travel by introducing solutions to make travel safer, more flexible, and more sustainable in this era – all built around the core mission of connecting people in real life in an enjoyable and sustainable way. 

TravelPerk also pursued a strict zero-layoff strategy during the pandemic, allowing it to continue to invest in and improve its products and technology during a time of widespread disruption for the industry.

Avi Meir, CEO and Co-Founder of TravelPerk, commented: “The last two years have changed the travel industry forever, but one thing will always remain true: we have a human need to connect and meet with each other. Businesses will always need to travel, to bring their teams together and to meet with customers. But they need that travel to be flexible, convenient and, more than ever, they need it to be sustainable. Our mission at TravelPerk is to connect people in real life in an enjoyable and sustainable way.”

The startup recently released TravelPerk Events in November 2021, a revolutionary tool that helps distributed teams come together face-to-face. TravelPerk will continue to develop this product offering going forward in 2022. In an effort to make these in-person meetings as sustainable as possible, the company is leading the charge in their offering for customers to calculate their carbon footprint and offset their emissions through its acquisition of Susterra in 2021. TravelPerk also acquired Click Travel in 2021, as well as US rival NexTravel, marking a step-up in US presence.  

2021’s success doesn’t end there. The innovative startup also took on several big names as customers, including Just Eat Takeaway.com. 

The fresh funding will support TravelPerk’s new mission of connecting people in real life in an enjoyable and sustainable way. With this funding, TravelPerk will double down on its efforts in the development of next-generation sustainable travel solutions, designed specifically for the era of hybrid working, through significant expansion in target markets, including both the US and Europe

As businesses continue to adapt to the changes triggered by Covid-19, they face a major challenge: how to maintain the in-person human connections that are essential to building relationships and culture at a time when flexibility and sustainability are non-negotiable for both employees and leaders. TravelPerk is expanding its offering to provide the solutions to this question for businesses worldwide.

“As time goes by, it is clear that there won’t be a replacement for the human touch. We are seeing data on our platform and we are feeling it ourselves,” said TravelPerk CEO Avi Meir, “While some technologies are focused on virtual interactions, TravelPerk is building the technology that will help us get together in real life.”