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Corporate Travel, Online With Ease And Savings

Corporate Travel, with an eye on calm

Corporate travel remains one of the biggest expenses on the books. TripActions, fresh from a funding round, is looking to help companies bring bookings online, with incentives to help employees help firms save money.

In a world where the consumer experience online holds influence over the way corporations are adapting to, and adopting, online processes, it’s little wonder that corporate travel would take the plunge.

Consider the current model, in which firms small and large book through vendors, mindful of corporate policies — if, in fact, they are aware of those policies at all. Or they could “go rogue” and book trips and lodging or charge meals at venues outside the norm.

One firm, TripActions, fresh off a $14.6 million funding round, has introduced a travel booking app that seeks to streamline the costs and processes associated with corporate travel. In an interview with PYMNTS, Ariel Cohen, CEO and cofounder of the firm, said that the movement toward using online apps to book corporate travel helps promote a user experience that is intuitive, via dashboards, but also promotes spending from the employee “as if they were spending their own money.”

The $14.6 million, garnered in Series A funding, is earmarked to help develop the TripActions platform, through which employees choose across hotel chains but also among travel-focused booking sites, such as Booking.com.

Cohen told PYMNTS the travel and entertainment expenses a firm incurs are often the second-biggest line items on the books, with room for savings. But, he added, those savings can be realized only with an experience that is intuitive and that keeps employees from struggling with satisfying corporate policy. One way to do that, explained Cohen, comes through a loyalty rewards program, TripBucks, “one that closes the gap” between the employee being conscious of spending within corporate limits, as he or she accumulates rewards spanning gift vouchers and upgrades to trips.

The platform has mobile functionality and cuts across all parts of the trip, from booking airlines to ground transportation through Uber and Lyft. Cohen told PYMNTS the firm finds a sweet spot with firms that have 200 to as many as 1,500 employees.

The firm has said that it has 70 corporate customers in place and that average savings on travel spend comes in at 30 percent.

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