UK FinTech scale-up Upgrade Pack has announced a new $1.5 million (£1.3m) private investment round and the appointment of a new chairman.

The firm’s app offers a proprietary ‘closed marketplace’ for travellers which offers exclusive, premium flight and hotel upgrades at a reduced price.

The raise continues the company’s choice to use private investment rather than venture capital.

The latest figure brings the total funds raised to $4.1m (£3.4m) since launching 12 months ago.

It said the new funds will be used to expand into North America and Asia-Pacific as it rolls out its services worldwide.

The latest round, which now values the company at $18m (£15m), will see entrepreneur and investor David Brownlow join the firm’s board as company chairman.

“It was clear right from introducing David to our platform that he understood the value of what we’re creating, and matched our ambition to bring something entirely new to the market,” said Company Founder and Group CEO Craig Unsworth.

“Having someone of David’s calibre and experience will be invaluable as we expand into North America, and Asia Pacific this year.”

Brownlow is co-founder of resourcing firm Huntswood and investment firm Havisham Group, the latter of which has invested in new and early stage businesses across a wide range of industries including software and technology.

He is also vice-chairman of campaigning for the Conservative Party, having been appointed to the role in 2017.

“I’m delighted to join Upgrade Pack as Chairman during this exciting phase of growth. Its innovative, easy-to-use technology is a game-changer within customer loyalty, and I look forward to seeing users and clients alike derive huge value from this transformative platform,” said Brownlow.

Upgrade Pack is also announcing two new hubs for its global expansion – Toronto for North America and Singapore for Asia Pacific, with further details on its growth strategy and key management in each region to be revealed in the months ahead.