Investments

UK’s Duffel Lands $30M To Connect Airlines With Travel Agents

U.K. startup Duffel announced that it has raised $30 million in a Series B funding round. Index Ventures, as well as existing investors Benchmark and Blossom Capital, participated in the round.

Duffel — which offers a platform that allows travel agencies to gain direct access to airlines’ reservation systems via an application programming interface (API) — already counts American Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa Group, Aegean Airlines, Vueling and Iberia as partners. The firm will use the new funds to hire additional engineers, as well as increase its broader team and expand in North America and Europe. Its first customers will come from the U.S., U.K., Canada, France, Germany and Spain.

“Historically, it’s been very hard to sell travel products to agencies. Integrations are hard. There is too much complexity. We are bundling it all into a very simple API — and, two hours later, you can have it running on a site or a mobile app,” said Steve Domin, co-founder and CEO of Duffel, according to reports. “We are connecting directly to airlines’ reservation systems. If you go on a site that uses Duffel, we will forward — to the airline — the right search request, and the airline generates the offer in real time.”

“Airlines were trying to modernize their booking systems with Amadeus and Sabre, but they have not moved quickly on adapting to what the airlines wanted. When the IATA came up with its new XML platform, no one wanted to use it. So we did,” he added.

Index Ventures Partner Jan Hammer said, “We are incredibly impressed by the Duffel team, who we have supported since the days of their Seed funding. There is an opportunity here to transform the booking experience for travelers, and ease many of the pain points in the industry. From the launch of budget airlines to sharing economy businesses like Airbnb, travel has changed, and Duffel will provide the tools — built from the ground up — that make the next wave of innovation possible.”

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