From $0 in revenue to a $7.25B valuation: Why TripActions’ $275M raise has fintech to thank

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Before the COVID-19 pandemic, TripActions was primarily known to merge multiple Aspects of corporate trip booking – flights, hotels and rental cars – with expense tracking.

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but Palo Alto-based tripaction was one of the startups that got hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, as a result of the global crisis Its revenue fell to $0, according to CEO and co-founder Ariel Cohen. In March 2020, the company made headlines Layoffs of about 300 employees in the event of a slowdown in business related to the pandemic.

It was at this point that TripActions decided to accelerate the timeline for its fintech spending product, TripActions Liquid, which launched only a month before the pandemic. As the pandemic increased digitization across the board, employees were suddenly making spending decisions from out of office and more merchants were accepting digital payments.

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“We realized quickly that we needed to meet the needs of our customers to manage not only travel expenses, but all of the company money employees spent,” Cohen told Nerdshala. “We knew that employees were dispersed and instead of traveling, they would now spend on home office equipment and virtual software. And so we elaborated on the types of expenses that employees can accrue.”

That pivot has proven to be a smart move for the company, which today announced that it has raised $275 million in a Series F “growth” funding round at a $7.25 billion valuation. Greenox led the financing, which also included “strong participation” from Elad Gill, Bess Partners and “all major existing financial investors”. Past backers in the company include Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Zeev Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Group 11.

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TripActions closed a $155 million Series E investment earlier this year at a valuation of about $5 billion. With the latest round, the company has raised a total of $1.3 billion since its 2015 inception – about $780 million of which was secured during the pandemic.

The latest financing is notable for a few reasons. For one, it signals an expansion of TripActions from a primarily “corporate travel” startup, and more broadly, an expense management company. This means that it is in the same category as the fast-growing fintechs like Brakes and Ramps. But the biggest difference in Cohen’s view is that those two companies”travel” and thus TripAction is more focused on enterprise companies while focusing more on SMEs.

“Just as TripActions continues to disrupt the corporate travel market, TripActions Liquid is poised to replace traditional expense management solutions,” he said. “No other company has been able to provide a single, integrated T&E” [Travel & Expense] solutions for enterprise companies globally.”

Today, TripActions has over 5,000 customers, including Crate & Barrel, Wayfair, Pinterest, Lyft, Zoom, Toast, Dimensions, Lineage, Box, Axios, SXSW, Glassdoor, SurveyMonkey, Lenar and Qualcomm.

image credit: tripaction

While Cohen declined to reveal hard revenue figures, he said TripAction has now surpassed pre-pandemic levels in terms of booking volume and revenue. The startup, Cohen said, has more than doubled its total travel budget under management, while spending budgets under management increased by 1,400% over the same period. And, over the past six months, TripActions Liquid has registered over 500% growth in transaction volume and nearly 400% growth in active users. Recent enterprise customer wins include Heineken, Snowflake, Thomson Reuters and Adobe.

TripAction currently has 1,500 employees, while it laid off around 800 in March 2020.

The company plans to primarily use its new capital Doubling down on TripAction Liquid, its fintech payment and expense management solution, with the goal of expanding further globally.

It also plans a “deeper” investment in Reed & McKay, an agency it recently acquired that provides high-end support (including VIP and M&E for TripAction). TripActions also plans wider expansion in Europe, which has grown to represent 30% of its business. Specifically, the company intends to add more than 150 headcounts in the United Kingdom, Israel and across Europe this fiscal year.

The company also plans to continue investing in Key Journey with the goal of becoming “an essential tool for companies entering the future of work.” Notably, it will continue its personalized travel booking offering, Lemonade, which Cohen says has led to a nearly 10-fold increase in booking volume this fiscal year.

“A sea change is underway in the corporate travel and spending industries as companies seek powerful and streamlined travel solutions in the post-pandemic economy,” Neil Mehta, Founder and Managing Partner, Greenox said in a written statement. “TripActions is rapidly gaining traction among some of the largest enterprises in the world, and no company is better positioned to lead the way in how global travel recovers.”

Investor Elad Gill, who recently raised his fund, describes TripActions as “an N-of-1 company at large in TAM.”

He said the company has done well and will continue to do so.

“You’re starting to see corporate travel look back, and TripActions is well positioned to seize the opportunity,” Gill wrote via email. “And, new add-on businesses like Liquid are growing well.”

In general, he believes startups offer “a lot” Great features to improve the travel experience, including clever features surrounding travel planning related to COVID. “

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