Startup Utrip announced Series A funding this week in an effort to streamline travel booking for both consumers and corporates.
Reports Monday (Feb. 20) said Utrip raised $4 million from backers at Plug & Play, Tiempo Capital and Acorn Ventures, among others. Angel investors included Apple Treasurer Gary Wipfler and Costco CFO Richard Galanti, according to reports.
Utrip first launched in 2012 as a B2C solution that helps consumers book travel plans by creating itineraries based on recommendations and attractions. After its launch, the company added a B2B solution. The Series A financing will go towards helping the company strengthen its mobile service and to build out other IT projects, reports noted. The company will also focus on its white-label solution.
“By emphasizing personalization and discovery for every phase of the travel lifecycle with our advanced artificial intelligence, Utrip allows its partners to be an integral digital companion for travelers in a way that’s seamless and economical for airlines, cruise lines and hotels to destination marketing organizations to points of interest,” said Utrip CEO Gilad Berenstein in a statement.
The $4 million in funding follows an $850,000 funding round completed in Dec. 2014, as well as a $750,000 round before that.
The corporate travel startup space is competitive, though many players focus in on expense management and basic travel booking, like air and hotel. Top technology and on-demand companies like Airbnb and Uber have also injected new competition and business models into the space in recent years.
Analysis released by Skift late last year found that corporate travel spend is expected to increase by 4.2 percent in 2017, larger than a 3.5 percent growth forecasted for 2016. Steady airfare prices are one reason for increased spend on corporate travel, the company said.