London start-up Duffel bags £17m investment
Yet-to-launch London start-up Duffel has raised $21.5m (£17m) for its travel platform for travel agents, agencies, and large travel management companies.
The Series A round came from Benchmark, Blossom Capital, and Index Ventures, and brings the total raised by the new company to $25m.
The start-up plans to come out of ‘stealth mode’ in autumn 2019, as it uses the funds to gear up its engineering talent in the capital.
It has revealed that its product will offer a “seamless” end-to-end travel experience.
The firm was founded by Steve Domin and Tom Bates both previously of ‘GoCardless’ and Vincent Pastor.
“The travel industry is underpinned by archaic software and processes that are fundamentally prohibitive for the modern-day traveler,” said Steve Domin, co-founder and CEO of Duffel.
“We are reinventing the underwiring between online agents and the providers — airlines, hotels, transport operators — in much the same way that the payments world is changing for merchants, because of tools like Adyen and Stripe.”
Lead investor, US-based Benchmark has previously backed Snapchat makers Snap, Twitter and Uber.
Chetan Puttagunta, general partner at Benchmark, said: “We have been watching Duffel from a distance and we are incredibly excited by the possibility it has to create something valuable for customers and travel providers alike. Duffel is focused on providing a better booking experience by building a platform that is easy to use with deep functionality.”
Ophelia Brown, founder of Blossom Capital, said: “Duffel has been clear on its vision to improve the travel experience for everyone from day one.
“This is a great example of the way that European founders are becoming more ambitious than ever before.
“The pace of execution is outstanding and shows clearly the competitive advantage European founders have to hire exceptional talent in their home markets.
“We are delighted to support Duffel and its fast-growing team as they continue their journey.”
“Duffel is one of many European teams who are building industry-defining companies in Europe,” added Opelia Brown, founder of Blossom Capital.