Toronto-based travel technology startup Sherpa - one of PhocusWire’s Hot 25 Startups for 2019 - has raised $8.5 million as demand for its travel rules platform intensifies.
Narrative Fund and True Ventures led the round, with participation from Relay Ventures, TSVC, Globalive Capital, N49P, Plug and Play Ventures, Golden Ventures, as well as Expedia.ca founder Stuart MacDonald and Busbud founder and CEO LP Maurice.
With Sherpa’s API, travel companies can provide travelers with up-to-date information about travel restrictions in their destination. Sherpa also automates visa applications and allows travelers to purchase other documentation needed to travel.
Its partners include Expedia Group, American Airlines, TripActions and Icelandair.
“We are on a mission to help travelers move freely around the world and shift the way the world's leading travel providers approach border crossings,” says Max Tremaine, co-founder and CEO of Sherpa.
Subscribe to our newsletter below
“In 2019, administering travel documents like visas cost airlines more than $1 billion, and new travel rules are making this issue more acute. By presenting the right information and ensuring that travelers have what they need to cross borders, we are making a meaningful difference for trust in travel and enabling a new era of personal connection and discovery.”
In a joint statement, Narrative Fund partner Jamie Wong and former Expedia CEO Erik Blachford say: “Sherpa has capitalized on a segment of the travel market that is long overdue for disruption. COVID has been a further catalyst to the kind of changes the industry needs to usher in the future of requirements, identification and safety. Until Sherpa, this has mostly been powered by analog technology and brick-and-mortar businesses.”
Founded in 2015, Sherpa aggregates data from thousands of sources including governments, airlines, airports, tourism boards and public forums, with updates made hourly as needed.
Earlier this month, Sherpa launched an interactive global map to help consumers understand COVID-related restrictions and requirements. The platform also provides a database of COVID-19 test sites.
In the past year, Sherpa says the number of airlines and other travel companies using Sherpa’s products has tripled. It currently processes one billion API requests per month, 10 million searches per day and has a nearly 99% success rate on visa applications.