One week ago, in announcing its latest round of
$60 million in funding, TravelPerk
co-founder and CEO Avi Meir said, “We have big ambitions for the next phase of our product development, which
will see us quickly bring new offerings to market.”
Now, just seven days later,
the company is launching what Meir calls “the biggest development in the
business travel industry in more than a decade.”
With the new “FlexiPerk,” TravelPerk
guarantees its clients a 90% refund on any bookings – for flights, hotels, private
accommodations, car rentals and trains - that are changed or cancelled for any
Clients that opt in to FlexiPerk pay
a 10% fee on top of each booking.
Subscribe to our newsletter below
Cancellations are made with one click
in the TravelPerk platform and then the client receives a refund of 90% of
their travel cost – but not the 10% fee – and TravelPerk handles the cancellation
with the supplier.
There's one stipulation: To be refundable,
cancellations must be made within certain time limits, such as two hours before
a flight and by 4 p.m. on the day of arrival for a hotel.
The company says its own data shows
that one in five business trips are cancelled, rescheduled or postponed.
“The issues around flexibility and changes are some of
the biggest pain points,” Meir says.
“If you think about the difference between a flexible and
non-flexible rate for exactly the same product, it is on average 60% more expensive.
This is a massive amount of money to pay out of a travel budget to get flexibility.
That’s what we are trying to solve here with only 10% difference in cost.”
our long-term strategy... is focused on not just playing catch up with the flexibility and convenience of consumer travel - but actually surpassing it.
Avi Meir - TravelPerk
The company says several of its customers have tested
the product, resulting in a savings of 26% on average compared to the cost of flexible
fares and last-minute cancellation fees.
"At Picnic, we’re growing
really fast and have a truly international team with people flying in from
around the world. But growing so quickly means plans change all the time,” says
Elise Baeriswyl, people associate at Amsterdam-based online supermarket Picnic.
“Before FlexiPerk, we had to either
pay expensive changeable fares or go through the headache of getting refunds
from airlines. Now we can book anything with the peace of mind that we'll get
our money back if plans change."
For now, opting in to FlexiPerk automatically enables
it for all of a company’s employees, but Meir says it is developing the ability
for clients to limit it to specific segments, for example executives or sales
TravelPerk says it currently has about 2,000 customers,
and Meir says he expects strong interest FlexiPerk. Those that opt in can also
opt out with notice of at least seven days.
“We try to keep people in the platform by delivering great
product, not because of a contract. Same as the main platform - you like it, you
keep using it, you don’t, you opt out,” he says.
Meir says the company is working on many
other new products that will be released in the coming months.
“[FlexiPerk] marks a change in the status quo of
business travel’s pricing structure - and is a key development in our long-term
strategy, which is focused on not just playing catch-up with the flexibility
and convenience of consumer travel - but actually surpassing it,” he says.
TravelPerk’s recent $60 million in
funding brought its total Series C round to $104 million. The latest capital came from existing investors Kinnevik, Partners of DST Global, Target
Global, Felix Capital, Sunstone and LocalGlobe.
The company has
raised nearly raised almost $134 million since its launch in 2015.