Spotnana emerged from the stealth on Thursday with $ 41 million in its pocket and an open global platform targeting the $ 1.4 trillion corporate travel industry.
The Bay Area company’s investment includes a 34 million Series A start-up capital.
Founded in 2019 by CEO Sarosh Waghmar and CTO Shikhar Agarwal, Spotnana is developing a software-as-a-service platform for travel buyers and providers that aims to automate the associated back and mid-office tasks and travel inventory Provide dozens of global sources and integrations with third party workplace technology providers for easy travel management.
Waghmar, who has a background in the travel industry and founded WTMC as the leading digital travel company, told TechCrunch that the industry is difficult to scale because it is “highly broken and highly fragmented.”
He learned that the only way to scale up in the travel industry is to start a technology company first.
“Travel is a $ 1.4 trillion industry and business travel alone is growing 5 to 6 percent each year, but that accounted for $ 700 billion last year despite the pandemic,” Waghmar said. “By 2024, we see this drop to $ 1.4 trillion as events get back where they need to be.”
The platform is now open to the public after being tested with 50+ business travel customers who now manage travel in global offices from a single online dashboard. In addition, the company grew to over 120 employees last year.
Steve Singh, former founder and CEO of expense and travel software company Concur, is an investor in Madrona Venture Group and chairs the board of directors of Spotnana. As part of the investment, he also includes ICONIQ investor and former CFO of Expedia, Greg Stanger.
Singh referred to the company as “AWS for the travel industry”.
“Customers use Spotnana in several ways: they use the finished product or they use the API and build their own products,” he said. “It’s like walking into an airport kiosk and accessing the same data set that is used when booking trips online or working with a travel agent.”
At his previous company, Waghmar said he scaled it as a bootstrapped company to over $ 70 million in travel expenses per year. At Spotnana, however, he believes that technology will drive change in the industry and that it will require working with investors who understand the space to drive it forward.
The new funds will be used for additional hires, in particular for the engineering team, the expansion of its infrastructure for travel operations and the further development of its open architecture.
“We believe this is the highest amount ever raised for a business travel startup,” added Waghmar. “We’ve built a profitable business before and can do it again if we change this industry.”