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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

TripActions CEO Says $155M Funding Signals Industrywide Recovery

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TripActions has landed yet another major round of investment financing, securing $155 million in Series E funding to bring the travel management and expense provider’s overall valuation to $5 billion, the company announced Thursday. But beyond serving as milestone for his own company, TripActions CEO Ariel Cohen sees the latest infusion of investment dollars as a positive sign for the prognosis of corporate travel as a whole as the industry awaits recovery from the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Cohen described the funding as “a testament to the promise of a return to normal now that a vaccine is being distributed, and the tremendous market opportunity ahead of us” when corporate travel returns. 

It was that opportunity becoming more clearly visible in the near term that attracted the latest round of investment—which was unsolicited, according to Cohen.

“In fact, we were not looking for financing, but after vaccines were announced in November and some of the uncertainty about the future went away, the team saw a flurry of activity from investors,” the Cohen said—adding that the company hadn’t even tapped into the proceeds from its previous funding round of $125 million it secured in June. 

Cohen said the infusion of cash will be leveraged to continue research and development activity, among other uses. TripActions spent much of last year building out its offerings to prepare for the post-pandemic corporate travel landscape, launching more than 40 new capabilities and enhancements, including adding a companion expense management system to its existing Liquid payment tool, as well as debuting a dedicated enterprise version of its platform to serve larger clients. 

Along with R&D, Cohen said the funding will be used to accelerate TripActions’ go-to-market efforts and further expand the company’s global footprint.

Meanwhile, TripActions finds itself with plenty of funds in its coffers at time many see as a ripe opportunity for companies with money to spend to acquire financially distressed providers and smaller startups at a bargain. For TripActions, that could be a promising path to gaining market share ahead of an eventual initial public offering—a route the company was pursuing before the sudden onset of Covid almost a year ago put the industry into hibernation mode. 

Cohen wouldn’t specifically address TripActions’ acquisition strategy, but he said, “we are always looking at the market and growth opportunities.”

Led by existing investor Andreessen Horowitz along with Addition and angel investor Elad Gil, the round also included participation from existing investors Zeev Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Greenoaks Capital. 

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