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February 10, 2014

Wheelings & Dealings: Rocketrip Closes First Institutional Round of Funding

Rocketrip, the first commercially available platform to save companies money on travel expenses by rewarding employee cost-saving behavior, has secured $2.6 million in series A round.

Canaan Partners led the financing with participation from Genacast Ventures and others 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," said Dan Ruch, founder & CEO of Rocketrip, in a statement.

Ruch said that 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, Ruch said that 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.

"We are pleased to have Canaan Partners and Genacast Ventures invest in our vision to reform a very broken corporate travel management process," adds Ruch.

He said that 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," said Warren Lee, general partner, Canaan Partners.

Lee said that Rocketrip is well-positioned to take advantage of these changing corporate travel market dynamics.

Gil Beyda, founder and managing partner of Genacast Ventures said that 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.

"I believe the corporate travel management space is starving for the kind of innovation that Rocketrip provides," said Beyda.

Gillian Tee, Rocketrip co-founder and head of product and technology said that 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," said Tee.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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