The young shoots of Business Travel are rising and attracting many investors, mainly foreigners. But what is this attraction for BT startups because, especially in times of crisis? If the economic situation is in favor of investment, change is more than ever at the heart of the issues.
In January 2022, a few days apart, Spendesk and TravelPerk, two startups that specialize in Business Travel, gained unicorn status after a new fundraising of more than $ 100 million. A valuation that then exceeded a billion dollars, for young shoots whose activity has still deteriorated in recent months. For Spendesk, if this new status doesn’t change the company’s DNA, being a unicorn has allowed it to gain popularity: “As far as concern, this new status allows us to approach new talent, especially internationally, and promote our company to them. Being a unicorn allows us to inform them. that they are embarking on a solid adventure ”, Rodolphe Ardant, CEO of young shoot recently confessed to our colleagues from DéplacementsPros. Spanish TravelPerk wants mainly to accelerate its international development, specifically in Europe and the United States. At the same time, French company Fluctuo also concluded a new round of funding for 1.6 million euros, including 574 Invest, the SNCF investment fund, and Statkraft Ventures.
More international investors
With the continued rise of fundraising, the question that arises is: what is driving investors, especially foreigners, to invest heavily in French or European Travel startups? For Laurence Ruiz, co-founder and partner of accounting firm Orbiss: “ There is currently a large amount of money available in the funds, which means there is a lot of liquidity ”. Rodolphe Ardant added that “because (or thanks to) the pandemic, central bank policies provided enough liquidity to push them to invest”. As for the attraction of French Tech (and not just the Travel sector), it all relates to a context where innovation and innovation is a real underlying trend: “It’s all happening in Europe. Our economy is changing and attracting more foreign investors. The dynamic is the same as in the United States 10 years ago, which favors this enthusiasm. Investors tell themselves : ‘Well, the same thing is happening as a few years ago in the US, we were investing in Europe’ “.
Orbiss co-founder completed: “We’ve noticed that in the United States the best values are mostly French and I think it’s all been driven by President Emmanuel Macron’s policy over the past five years. French Tech is flirting with the United States but also Asia». It’s a fact, French Tech is famous! With more than 20,000 startups, the French ecosystem will have raised 11.6 billion euros in 2021, i.e., +115% compared to last year. In one year, it also spawned 12 new unicorns, compared to just 3 in 2020, with a record fundraising for Sorare, a start-up that specializes in cryptocurrencies, which raised $ 680 million.
Digital transformation amidst challenges
A dynamic is now driving young shoots to thrive and the industry to accelerate their digital transformation: “The role of change is the very essence of a startup. It aims to use technology to allow a market to do things differently. Is it our duty to change the industry? Beyond the industry, it is to rather our way of working and our relationship with the company has changed, especially in terms of financial management, ” then the CEO of Spendesk explained.
For Laurence Ruiz, many startups are taking advantage of this crisis to find their market: “Markets have finally recovered quickly as many companies have seen their model accelerate during the crisis. There has been a real resurgence of interest in innovative solutions, especially in everything management -related. of costs related to business travel or their organization.In the U.S., business travelers return.As before, I don’t think so, but workers regularly fly again.The recovery is gradual.
Opening photo: @Bruce Mars