NEW YORK, February 10, 2014 (ADOTAS) — Rocketrip, the first commercially available platform to save companies money on travel expenses by rewarding employee cost-saving behavior, today announced that it has closed its first institutional round of funding. Canaan Partners led the $2.6 million Series A financing with participation from Genacast Ventures and others investors. Rocketrip has received previous funding from Genacast Ventures, Y Combinator, and angel investors.
“Legacy corporate travel systems that are designed to streamline the travel process and enforce policy, in fact create friction with employees and drive non-compliance in today’s $160 billion-a-year US business travel industry. As a result, travelers often ‘go rogue’ as the industry calls it, and book travel outside of those systems,” says Dan Ruch (pictured), Founder & CEO of Rocketrip. “Rocketrip is optimized for employees that are allowed to book travel using their website or vendor of choice, motivating cost sensitivity by rewarding employees with a percentage of the savings they generate. However, for companies with a more complex travel program and a mandated booking channel, Rocketrip can function in parallel with existing systems by motivating similar cost saving behavior.”
In just three months of early pilot testing, seven Rocketrip customers saved nearly $20,000 across 100 trips. This represents a higher-than-expected 25% reduction in travel spend.
“We are pleased to have Canaan Partners and Genacast Ventures invest in our vision to reform a very broken corporate travel management process,” adds Mr. Ruch. The new funds will be used to accelerate software and product development and to build out sales and client services.”
“Forward-looking companies are recognizing that they can enlist their employees to help reduce spending on travel while increasing employee satisfaction on these trips. This change is happening especially fast in the mid-market,” says Warren Lee, General Partner, Canaan Partners. “Rocketrip is well-positioned to take advantage of these changing corporate travel market dynamics.”
“Existing travel management interfaces are obsolete; they are bulky, antiquated, take time to learn, and have increasingly diminishing value. By contrast, online travel agencies and other online booking websites provide ease of use, high availability, and lots of choice,” says Gil Beyda, Founder and Managing Partner of Genacast Ventures. “I believe the corporate travel management space is starving for the kind of innovation that Rocketrip provides.”
“With Rocketrip’s incentive platform, companies can promote desirable cost-saving behaviors, such as advanced purchase of flights. Everyone benefits from using Rocketrip: companies cut their travel costs and get best-in-class reporting on travel spend and behavior, and employees earn rewards for booking cost-effective trips,” says Gillian Tee, Rocketrip Co-Founder and Head of Product and Technology.
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, SuccessFactors, Tremor Video and Virsto as well as healthcare stars like Cerexa, 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.
Rocketrip (http://www.rocketrip.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. The company rewards employees for booking under budget by sharing a percentage of the savings in the form of cash and gift cards. Rocketrip, based in New York City, 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.