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 businesses in their portfolio. Plus, and, maybe the most vital benefit, 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.