Next Generation Travel Management Startup Rocketrip Closes $3 Million in Series A-1 Funding
NEW YORK, July 14, 2014 —Rocketrip, the first commercially available platform to save companies money on travel expenses by rewarding employees for cost-saving behavior, today announced that it raised $3 million in an accelerated round of funding from current and new investors. The funding will be used to expedite product development and sales efforts.
The A-1 round was led by current investors Canaan Partners and Genacast Ventures, and includes participation from new investors CrunchFund and Paul Buchheit. Rocketrip closed a $2.6 million Series A round in January 2014 led by Canaan with participation from Genacast Ventures, Y Combinator, and other investors. To date, Rocketrip has raised $6.2 million in venture funding.
“Since January’s Series A round, results from Rocketrip’s Pilot Programs have provided quantifiable evidence that the platform will decrease corporate travel costs by more than 20 percent, fundamentally change employee spending behavior, and make travel weary employees feel better about hitting the road,” says Dan Ruch, Founder & CEO of Rocketrip. “We are all very encouraged by the positive feedback from current Rocketrip customers, as well as a deep pipeline of new business. The money raised from this A-1 round will be used primarily to drive our sales efforts as well as build out our product and engineering team to improve usability and integrate new features.”
In 2014, Rocketrip saved clients $200,000 across 1,000+ round trip air and hotel segments. Much of the savings came from expected shifts in behavior such as choosing the lowest fare at time of booking, purchasing 21+ days in advance, and booking coach over business class. However, several exciting and unanticipated money-saving scenarios emerged as employees were self motivated to beat their personalized budget in order to maximize Rocketrip Rewards. Examples include:
- Booking accommodations through Airbnb
- Using personal miles to pay for flights, demonstrating that employees value Rocketrip Rewards more than their airline miles
- Purchasing bundled air/car/hotel packages
- Staying with a friend
- Choosing a train instead of a plane
“As a former Google employee, I’ve personally seen the benefit a reward-based travel policy offers both employees and finance departments,” said Paul Buchheit, Rocketrip investor, a former Google employee and creator of Gmail. “I know the model works, and I am thrilled to be part of the Rocketrip team making this travel program available to companies and business travelers everywhere.”
Rocketrip (http://www.rocketripclub.tripprocms.com) is the first commercially available travel management platform to save companies money on travel expenses by motivating employees to become willing and enthusiastic partners in cost savings. Rocketrip’s algorithms integrate a company’s travel policy with real-time trip pricing and availability to create a personalized Smart Budget for each trip. Employees are set free to book using their favorite travel websites and are rewarded for booking under budget by sharing a percentage of the savings in gift cards for major retailers. Rocketrip provides employers with insights and analytics on company spending, savings and employee travel behavior, giving them the ability to optimize their travel policy and rewards program.
Canaan Partners (http://www.canaan.com) is a global venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs with visionary ideas. With $3.4 billion under management and over 150 exits to date, Canaan has funded some of the world’s leading technology companies including PrimeSense, Success Facts, Skybox Imaging, and Tremor Video as well as healthcare stars like Labrys Biologics, Chimerix and Advanced BioHealing. Current technology investments include Cardlytics, eBates, Kabam, Lending Club, SOASTA and Zoosk in the U.S.; BharatMatrimony and UnitedLex in India; and LiveU in Israel.
Genacast Ventures (http://www.genacast.com) invests in Internet technology entrepreneurs with a vision and passion for forging new markets or disrupting old ones. Established in 2008 as a partnership between serial entrepreneur Gil Beyda (Real Media and TACODA) and Comcast Ventures, Genacast’s commitment to helping exceptional entrepreneurs build great companies is already experiencing success with its first investment Invite Media being acquired by Google and its second investment Demdex being acquired by Adobe. Current portfolio companies include DoubleVerify (online advertising), PackLate (travel), Divide (mobile), Mortar Data (big data), LeadiD (lead generation), YieldMo (mobile advertising), ZeroFox (security) as well as Rocketrip. Genacast invests up to $1 million in 3 to 4 seed-stage start-ups each year.
CrunchFund is a venture capital firm founded by Michael Arrington and Patrick Gallagher. The fund invests in and works with information technology companies at any stage but is primarily focused on seed and early stage investments. Portfolio companies include Uber, Airbnb, Digital Ocean, Plain Vanilla, and many others.