Concur Technologies, a traveltech giant who acquired TripIt last year (and owns a few other notable properties), has launched a $150M fund, called The Perfect Trip, dedicated to funding innovation in the traveltech sector. According to Pierre-Emmanuel Tetaz, head of Concur France and former founder of ETAP ON LINE before it was acquired by Concur, the growth fund will be aimed at investing tickets anywhere from $1M – $40M, depending on the needs of the startup, and the ticket will be asking for 20% equity. The Perfect Trip fund intends to fulfill Concur’s vision of simplifying travel life by creating a better travel experience.
Large companies – investing in what they can’t build themselves
Concur, like most large companies, realizes it cannot build everything in house, and so is looking to invest in innovation in the sector. Like most corporate funds, each investment is coupled with a partnership agreement, which details how the technology invested in will be integrated with Concur’s complete offer. The company announced this week a $2 million investment in voice-to-search/text-to-search startup Evature, which created the EVA (Expert Virtual Agent) in order to provide easier voice and text search in the TravelTech space. The company also invested in Indian startup ClearTrip last year, suggesting a real global scope in their investments.
While companies like Google only invest in startups in the US, and acquire foreign startups to move them to California, it seems that Concur is looking to find the best TravelTech startups globally and help them grow.
“But what if they just want to steal my idea?”
Of course, Concur has something to benefit from each investment. The extremely profitable 2,400 employee company will not only be using each investment as an opportunity to grow its offer to its clients, but they are also very well positioned to help these startups make the network connections that, in the travel space, from what I hear, are very much “you either know someone or you’re nobody.” While some may worry that large companies with investment funds may just be shopping around for ideas, Tetaz says that’s just not in the mentality of Concur, who is looking to invest in technology, not in ideas. Most of the companies that come to Concur, he says, already have patents on their technology and have protected their IP enough that there is no worry in showing off what you’re doing & how you’re doing it.
Potential investment opportunities in France?
There are a few TravelTech startups that I can name off the top of my head in France – Capitaine Train is disrupting train-ticketing market in Europe, Lille-based startup Libertrip, currently incubated in Euratechnologies, is working on how we plan & share our trips with friends. I think I’ve said enough about Blablacar‘s ridesharing marketplace for you to know.
Any other TravelTech startups in Paris that are technology drive and could be potential investment opportunities for Concur? Let us know below!