Travel startup TravelBird received a 16.5 million euro investment from Rocket Internet. This marks the third large investment in TravelBird by the German powerhouse, which now owns 25.2 percent of the Amsterdam-based startup.
Global Founders Capital
The latest 16.5 million euro investment in TravelBird is made through Rocket Internet’s Global Founders Capital. The fund, founded by the German brothers Samwer in 2013, invests the money they made by going public with Rocket Internet and Zalando in late 2014 and from the sale of their many succesful businesses (Alando, Jamba, CityDeal). This marks the third time TravelBird receives a large investment from Rocket Internet, after closing one of the largest startup deals of the year in 2014. The total amount invested in TravelBird by Rocket Internet now is 31.6 million euro, which now owns a 25.2 percent share of TravelBird.
Dutch newspaper NRC values TravelBird at 156 million euro. According to our own calculations, the valuation can be even higher, somewhere between 275 and 300 million euros (unconfirmed).
In December 2014, Rocket Internet invested in fellow Dutch startup Nestpick and just last month, together with Dutch VC Prime Ventures, they invested 8 million euro in Twente-based startup Dealerdirect.
Expanding to Australia
Back to TravelBird. The Amsterdam-based startup was founded in 2010 by Symen Jansma and Dennis Klompalberts and recently has experienced impressive growth. More than 670 people are employed at TravelBird at the moment, up from ‘just’ 170 in January 2014. A total of 2.5 million people have used TravelBird’s services.
With the latest investment, TravelBird will be able to expand its services to Australia, their first country outside Europe, and soon after that, to two additional (undisclosed) countries. With that, TravelBird will be operating in a total of twenty countries. The startup is also planning to use the money to further improve the mobile user experience by adding new features to the mobile app.
Symen Jansma, CEO of TravelBird:
“TravelBird changes the way people experience travelling and we have to constantly innovate and improve our products to keep ahead of the competition. I’m looking forward to all the product innovations that lie ahead.”
Some of those product innovations might be recieving a push message when the check-in of a flight commences, or a map at arrival which shows where your rental car is located. And what about going public? According to Jansma, TravelBird has prepared the company for that event, but is not yet negotiating with investment bankers.
Main photo by Pieter van Marion (creative commons via Flickr)
Other photo’s provided by TravelBird