Online tailor-made marketplace attracts investment

Online tailor-made marketplace attracts investment

Unspecified injection from high-growth business investor

Global B2C online tailor-made holidays marketplace has attracted an unspecified cash injection.

The new investment has been made by Gresham House Ventures, which provides capital to high-growth entrepreneurial businesses.

TravelLocal claims to be disrupting one of the last segments of travel which remains offline by connecting consumers directly with handpicked experts based in their destination.

This bypasses the traditional UK-based middleman, for better expertise and value, but retains the security of Abta and Atol protection.

TravelLocal is building a global brand, having taken bookings from clients in 39 origin countries around the world and offering 53 destinations so far.

The investment is part of a growth capital funding round which also includes Active Partners.

TravelLocal was founded by Tom Stapleton, Huw Owen and Mark Hudson and launched its managed marketplace in 2016.

It predominantly operates within the long-haul, multi-destination holiday market, focusing on private itineraries for higher-end and mid-level clients.

This segment of the travel market is growing strongly, boosted by increasing appetite for authentic, experiential travel, particularly amongst the over 50s demographic.

The addressable UK market is expected to hit £3.9 billion this year, while the US market is over £6 billion.

The business has so far focused its marketing activities on UK-based customers.

It sees “significant scope” to increase its international presence with this additional funding.

Gresham House Ventures invests equity of up to £5 million in growth businesses, while providing transformational capital and expertise to accelerate business potential.

Active Partners, which leads the investor syndicate, has previously funded Soho House, cycling brand Rapha and Leon Restaurants.

Gresham House was especially attracted by TravelLocal’s exceptional client feedback – with a Net Promoter Score of more than 80 – and the global reach of the brand.

TravelLocal managing director Stapleton said: “We are in an exciting period of growth at TravelLocal and are thrilled to have secured this additional investment from Gresham House Ventures, alongside Active Partners.

“We’re proud of the global marketplace and brand we have created and are excited about utilising this funding to further accelerate our growth.”

Gresham House Ventures associate director Tom Makey, added: “TravelLocal is at a pivotal point in its growth journey as it looks to increase market share and expand internationally.

“The travel space, like many sectors, is experiencing significant change and this managed marketplace and platform demonstrates how technology is being used to facilitate a better and more intuitive experience for travellers.”