YFM backs continuing cutting edge product development at market leading travel booking platform
YFM Equity Partners (YFM) is continuing to support the growth of innovative Scottish software business Traveltek with a £1.3m investment from funds managed by YFM and co-investor FTI LLP.
Over the last 20 years, Traveltek has developed technology which enables leisure travel companies to package together an extensive range of hotels, flights, cruises and ancillary travel services in one seamless transaction. Private equity house YFM has supported the business since 2016 when it made its first investment of £5.3m, allowing the business to become one of the most advanced travel booking engines in the market. Recent developments include Traveltek helping the industry to combat the impact of Covid by fast-tracking a suite of data technology products designed to give travel companies vital insight into which parts of the sector are seeing the fastest and most sustained recovery in order to better plan for the future.
This latest investment has been made to allow the continued development of the Traveltek product portfolio with the aim of creating the world’s most innovative and dynamic booking platform, incorporating seamless automation and new functionality in a cloud native solution. The company’s expansion will see the creation of new skilled jobs, including software engineers and technical staff, at Traveltek’s headquarters in Glasgow. In addition, the investment will support Traveltek’s expansion in the US where the business has a growing customer base having won an impressive roster of clients over the past year including Hotelbeds and Jet Blue Vacations.
As part of the funding round, travel sector expert Phil Aird-Mash, joins the board as chairman. With 25 years’ experience in the aviation and tour operating sector, he has held many executive and non-executive roles in several SMEs and blue-chip companies including MyTravel, Airtours and Thomas Cook, and he is currently chairman of ACC Aviation and CEO of ITC Travel Group.
Mal Barritt, CEO of Traveltek, said:
“The pandemic has, and continues to be, a massive challenge for the travel industry, but over the past 16 months, Traveltek has used the time wisely to remain focused on evolving and innovating its product range. The announcement of the £1.3 million investment allows us to expedite the journey to not only reinvent and rebuild our core product , but also create the world’s leading travel technology platform.
“Our partnership with YFM goes beyond your traditional investor relationship. Over the last few years and particularly during the pandemic, YFM has provided strategic support and facilitated networking opportunities with other business in their portfolio. Plus, and, maybe the most vital benfit, is their unwavering belief in Traveltek and the future opportunities we will be able to deliver together.”
Steve Harrison, partner at YFM, added:
“Despite recent industry challenges, Traveltek has shown great resilience in navigating its way through a fast-changing environment, continuing to invest in its product and finding new ways of supporting its customers. This latest investment will enable it to turbo boost its activities around new product build and development – it is a very exciting time for the business, with the opportunity to create the world’s leading travel technology product and become the global leader in its field.”
New chairman Phil Aird-Marsh added:
“I am pleased to be joining Traveltek as its new chairman, especially at a time when it is embarking on such a crucial journey of product development and change. Traveltek has a very bright future, through further marketplace innovation, product development and market growth, particularly within the North American market.”
YFM Equity Partners has been investing in growing businesses in the UK since 1982, with a focus on helping them to scale.
The YFM team comprised Steve Harrison and David Hall. Murray Jack of Addleshaw Goddard advised YFM; and MBM Commercial advised the company.
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Note to editors
YFM Equity Partners are specialist, independently owned, private equity investors. With over 30 years of experience we seek to unlock value and growth potential by providing up to £10 million of equity to fuel the development of established business throughout the UK regions. We do this by helping our portfolio companies grow niche businesses, launch new initiatives, make transformative acquisitions and upgrade technologies and systems. Through our offices in Leeds, London, Manchester, and Birmingham, we are dedicated to working alongside management teams to create long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in and a positive economic impact for the communities in which we work. We manage funds in excess of £300 million which include venture capital trusts and private equity funds.
YFM Equity Partners conducts its investment business through its subsidiary YFM Private Equity Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 122120).
Traveltek is one of the world’s leading travel technology providers. A pioneer in its field, the company has been delivering cutting-edge solutions to travel businesses for almost two decades. It is operating worldwide with offices located in the United States, United Kingdom, India, and Australia – with the head-office located in Glasgow (UK). The company mission is to connect the world through travel; by delivering unique technologies, extensive distribution capabilities, and sophisticated data insights.
Traveltek’s award-winning product suite includes; iSell – featuring dynamic packaging solutions including both cruise and tours itineraries; iBos – back-office systems offering CRM, booking reports and documentation; travel API – connects to hundreds of leading travel suppliers; and data insights.
We are continually innovating and developing our products to ensure we deliver high quality, software and tools for travel companies to remain cutting edge within a highly competitive marketplace.
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