The Thinking Traveller secures £7 million Growth Private Equity Investment from Piper

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Piper, the leading specialist investor in consumer brands has invested £7m into The Thinking Traveller, the world’s most thoughtful luxury villa brand. 

Founded in 2002 by Huw and Rossella Beaug, The Thinking Traveller began with seven villas in Sicily. Today it has 220 highly curated properties, all 100% exclusively available to rent through The Thinking Traveller, including some of the most sought-after villas in the Mediterranean, such as the 16th Century former fortress Forte San Giorgio on the island of Capraia and the hilltop aristocratic Rocca delle Tre Contrade in Eastern Sicily. The business has been voted Condé Nast Traveller readers’ Best Villa Rental Company for the last five years running.

Sales grew to £20m in 2019 with the business currently covering seven destinations: Sicily, Puglia, The Greek Ionian and Sporades islands, Corsica, and the Minor Italian islands. Most recently The Thinking Traveller announced the expansion of its portfolio of destinations to Mallorca with a range of stunning and exclusive villas on the Balearic island.

Popular with multi-generational families, couples and groups of friends, the brand is renowned for its award-winning personal service and the expertise of its in-destination local managers. They provide clients with a 24-hour concierge service and a range of curated experiences to help make their holidays truly memorable, booking guided cultural tours and excursions, in-villa culinary experiences and chefs, yacht charters and yoga teachers. As a result, the company has an industry-leading client satisfaction Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 80. 

Piper’s minority investment will see Huw and Rossella continue to run The Thinking Traveller remaining joint CEOs and majority shareholders. The investment  will help the business curate a broader selection of exclusive villas in new destinations around the Mediterranean through strategic acquisitions and partnerships, expand brand awareness in its core markets including the UK, Europe, the US and Australia, and scale the team to ensure clients and owners continue to experience excellent service and support.

It is the ninth investment from Piper VI, Piper’s £123m fund, following its recent £11.5m investment into leading smart indoor cycling brand Wattbike in September.

Huw & Rossella Beaugie, co-founders of The Thinking Traveller said:

“Over the past two years we have developed a close partnership with Piper who have consistently demonstrated how their expertise and advice can help propel our growth in the future. We have a number of strategic opportunities ahead and are delighted to have a partner alongside us who shares our values and ambitions for The Thinking Traveller.

Dan Stern, Piper’s Investment Director, who led the deal, said:

“We are very excited to be backing The Thinking Traveller team for the next stage of growth. Although the travel industry has been badly hit by Covid, our consumer insight work shows that people are more eager than ever to see new countries and experience new cultures. As a brand that is unrivalled in its satisfaction levels among both clients and villas owners, The Thinking Traveller is exceptionally placed to benefit from this pent-up demand as we emerge from the pandemic.”

Ian Simkins, former CEO of Audley Travel, which grew to a £300m business, will join the business as Executive Chairman. Ian commented, 

“Huw and Rossella have built a great business with an incredibly strong brand and culture. I’m really excited about the opportunity to invest alongside Piper who have a proven pedigree in growing consumer brands, whilst keeping the founding values of businesses at their heart”.

Ashcombe Advisers advised the company on the transaction.

For more information, please contact: George Thwaites at Clearwood Media:

Email: [email protected]Phone: +44 (0)7884 117534

About Piper

Piper is a leading UK private equity firm specialising in consumer brands with strong growth potential. Established by entrepreneurs in 1985, it has an enviable record of building businesses into iconic brands. Its investments have include Mindful Chef, Bloom & Wild Wattbike, Orlebar Brown, Monica Vinader, PROPER, Neom Organics, Loungers and Boden. For more information, please go to

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Safiya Marzook

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