WeTravel, which creates technology for the unique demands of group travel, has secured USD 27 million in funding, which it will use to expand its business after seeing rapid growth in the previous year.
The company offers payments and other tools to over 3,000 businesses, with 500,000 clients utilizing its platform. Transaction volumes have increased by 300%, and revenues are now three times what they were before COVID. CEO and co-founder Johannes Koeppel predicts those statistics will “at a reasonable estimate” quadruple again in 2023.
Left Lane Capital is leading the Series B round, with prior backers Swift Ventures and Base10 also participating, as well as angel investors such as Victor Jacobsson, one of Klarna’s co-founders.
WeTravel has only raised USD 7 million in the eight years since its inception. According to our sources, this Series B was made at a little more than USD 100 million valuations.
The firm has, predictably, done some traveling of its own. Originally, Koeppel and his two co-founders, Garib Mehdiyev (CTO) and Zaky Prabowo (CMO), relocated to the Bay Area from Azerbaijan, Indonesia, and Switzerland to launch the company, only to discover that it was impossible to navigate the visa waters to bring engineers and other technical talent over as well.
As a result, the three founders of WeTravel returned to the Netherlands in 2019. COVID defied the notion that a startup’s entire team must be based in one location, and today, the majority of the company’s business team and customers are based in the United States, where the company is incorporated, while the three founders, as well as WeTravel’s product and engineering teams, are all based in Amsterdam.
“The important thing isn’t so much about paying as it is about what occurs afterward, what the travel company does with these funds. A typical journey may cost the consumer USD 10, with providers receiving the vast majority of the money. It becomes a financial management issue. The more complicated the journey, the more providers there are, from restaurants to transportation companies to airlines and motels. There are additional wire fees and different payment alternatives from company to company and country to country.”
More about the startup:
The market vacuum that WeTravel is attempting to fill appears to have been created by expanding online travel services.
WeTravel’s platform assists those organizing group travel to organize suppliers and plan everything; and then handles the various aspects of the payment process, whether that involves setting up payments in installments, working with different currencies and payment methods, and paying out to varying suppliers under their terms.
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