Singapore-based startup Travelstop is reimagining business travel and expense management in Asia. In its efforts to modernise the industry, the firm has raised US$3 million in Pre-Series A funding led by Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Accel, with participation from Strive (formerly GREE Ventures), and existing investor SeedPlus. As part of this new round, Accel's Prashanth Prakash will be joining the company's Board of Directors.
This latest round of funding comes just 10 months after the company launched its business travel and expense management product in August last year. At the time, Travelstop had announced a Seed funding round of US$1.2 million led by SeedPlus, with participation from several travel industry veterans from Expedia and Yahoo!.
"Travelstop is on a mission to redefine business travel and has already been adopted by some of the fastest-growing brands in Asia," says Prashant Kirtane, Co-founder and CEO at Travelstop. "We have always been very fortunate to have a great team of investors backing us and so we are very excited to have Accel and Strive onboard now. We plan to use the new funds to further invest in technology and to accelerate the adoption of Travelstop across Asia."
"Travelstop is building a locally relevant solution for the millennial generation of business travellers," affirmed Prashanth Prakash, Partner at Accel. "In less than a year, they've built a solid, category-defining business and launched a world-class product that has been adopted by a growing number of companies and their employees. We are excited to join Travelstop on their mission to shape the future of business travel."
Additionally, the startup announces a partnership with Traveloka, a leading travel technology company in Southeast Asia, to deliver the most extensive inventory of flights and hotels to business travellers in Asia. "Traditional business travel management tools have not kept pace with modern times. They're complicated, disjointed, expensive, and they don't offer choice – we want to change that," explains Kirtane. "Our partnership with Traveloka and other leading online travel booking platforms will allow us to offer the most comprehensive travel inventory to our business customers. We believe that the convenience of having such an extensive range of travel options on a single platform, along with our product-centric approach, will allow us to continue innovating and helping businesses reduce costs while boosting productivity."
The partnership is expected to roll out in the next few months, along with other core features such as 24x7 travel disruption management and hassle-free travel insurance. These additions are expected to allow Travelstop to target bigger businesses within the region.
Recently, the startup was named one of the top travel startups to watch out for in 2019 by Skift, as it continues to grow by a robust 100% month-on-month. Some of the fastest-growing companies in Asia, including Funding Societies and Carousell, have adopted Travelstop for their business travel management needs in the region. As a company, Travelstop is dedicated to providing top-notch support to clients and has an impressive customer satisfaction rating of 98%.
Through the use of machine learning and AI-driven personalisation, Travelstop customises the experience for companies and their employees, reducing the time needed by business travellers to research and book their travel. Furthermore, Travelstop offers features like Book For Others, Travel Policies, Group Bookings, Expense Reporting, and Invoice Billing so that employers and travel managers can effectively manage their company travel and expenses. Since their launch, the firm has also rolled out fully localised versions of their platform for seven different markets in Asia.
Market research firms predict that the global business travel market will be valued at over US$1.6 trillion by 2023, and a big part of that growth is expected to come from Asia. That growth, coupled with the increasing demand for more modern business travel solutions, creates a massive opportunity ahead for Travelstop.