Boutique travel firm plans for next stage of growth following £8.3m boost

A private equity firm has led the £8.3m series B investment round into global tailor-made holidays brand and managed marketplace TravelLocal.

Puma Private Equity and existing investors, Active Partners and Gresham House Ventures also participated in the round and the investment will help to accelerate TravelLocal’s growth.

TravelLocal is a global brand and receives bookings from clients worldwide, as a managed marketplace.

It is growing rapidly, as travellers demand authentic, more sustainable holidays and prioritise spending on experiences, annual bookings are over £45m and are growing over 100 per cent year on year.

The new  funding will support the company’s international growth, including investment in its managed marketplace platform and further brand marketing.

TravelLocal’s innovative model is revolutionising tailor-made holidays, by connecting its customers directly with handpicked, trusted local travel experts based in their destination – who know their country better than anyone.

Since the business was founded in 2016, TravelLocal has helped more than 70,000 customers create their perfect trip.

The TravelLocal platform enables bookings with over 500 individual local travel experts around the world, who create truly personalised itineraries directly with and for the client.

They work in 271 curated partner companies and are the ‘hidden stars’ of the legacy travel industry.

The Series B funding round follows the highly successful merger in July 2021 of TravelLocal (UK) and (Germany), both now fully integrated under the TravelLocal brand. #

TravelLocal has offices in Bristol and Berlin with colleagues also working remotely across the world. Active Partners and Gresham House Ventures also invested in this round, making this their third investment in the company following the Series A and the merger in 2021.

Channel 4 Ventures also recently increased its media-for-equity investment.

Alistair Daly, former CMO of listed holidays disruptor brand On the Beach, is a board advisor and investor in the business.

Mark Lyons, investment director at Puma Private Equity said: “Although incomes are being squeezed in the current environment, travel continues to be a priority expenditure for many and baby boomers are spending $120bn annually on leisure travel.

“We believe there is huge scope for TravelLocal to grow and continue transforming the tailor-made holiday industry.

“We are really encouraged by the strength of the management team and the resilience of the business post its merger in 2021 which has significantly increased its global reach. This investment will enable the team to do more to engage with their target audience, in particular their expanding base of US clients.”

Tom Stapleton, chief executive of TraveLocal added: “TravelLocal has performed very strongly again coming out of the pandemic as people travel extensively – and increasingly with a strong desire to do so in a more sustainable, meaningful way, that supports local people and economies.

“Our unique business model enables everyone to do just that. This funding round reflects the excellent growth opportunity we now have, and the first class team we have built to tackle it.”

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