In the PF world, venture capital and private equity firms are often drawn to companies who are solving problems for specific verticals in creative ways.
Recently, software companies looking to solve those problems and improve the customer experience for the travel industry have been garnering attention from investors
Last week, travel payments provider Uplift announced that it had received $123 million in funding. Uplift enables consumers to pay for their travel bookings over time.
“Uplift’s focused business model of bringing flexible payments to travel is a winner,” Jamie McJunkin, General Partner at Madrone Capital Partners, which led the funding round said in the press release. “Our confidence to invest was driven by an experienced management team, a very large market opportunity and the competitive advantages driven by the innovations Uplift has brought to the travel market.”
Uplift’s Pay Monthly financing option is offered through partnerships with travel websites. Consumers who wish to use the option can choose Pay Monthly at checkout, where they are then directed to a loan application. According to terms on its web site, the company offers the installment loans in partnership with CBW Bank.
Along with its funding round, the company also announced new relationships with several partners, including KAYAK and Flightsearch.com.
Coming at the travel space from a slightly different direction, travel ecommerce platform Switchfly also recently secured additional funding. While the company did not disclose the funding amount, the investment gave the firms, Golub Capital and L Capital LLC, a controlling equity stake, it said in its announcement. While it was just announced, the funding took place last October.
The Switchfly platform connects its clients with its inventory of flights, car rentals, hotels, insurance and other ancillary products. According to its web site, it operates as the merchant of record for its clients.
“Switchfly’s travel ecommerce platform already enjoys a sterling reputation and is used by some of the world’s most sophisticated travel and financial services companies,” Bart Foster, managing partner of L Capital LLC, who is also now the chairman of Switchfly’s board of directors said in a statement.
“The new financing allows Switchfly to invest in new product capabilities and continue improving its services for clients, as well as accelerating the company’s growth rate.”