According to Allied Market Research, the worldwide business travel market was worth $700B in 2020, a figure that was unexpectedly high given the world’s pandemic-induced lockdown. However, once corporate travel resumes, the industry is predicted to reach $2T within the next six years.
Spotnana, a self-described “travel-as-a-service” platform that provides a cloud-based toolset for booking and managing travel to organisations, travel management firms, and other technology companies, has raised $75M in a series B funding.
Durable Capital Partners LP led the round, including participation from current investors Madrona Venture Group, ICONIQ Growth, Mubadala Capital, and Blank Ventures.
The funding comes less than a year after Spotnana emerged from stealth with $41M in finance, and it may be symptomatic of the globe gradually returning to normal as corporations resume at least some degree of travel.
With this capital, Spotnana will be able to accelerate hiring and drive faster adoption of its Travel-as-a-Service Platform. Spotnana has raised more than $100M in two years, and its employment base has more than doubled in the last year.
“It’s our mission to rebuild the infrastructure of the travel industry in order to bring freedom, simplicity, and trust to travelers everywhere,” said Spotnana co-founder and CEO Sarosh Waghmar. “The infrastructure that has been in place for decades puts huge barriers between suppliers and travelers. We provide an open platform that enables the entire travel ecosystem to work together to deliver unparalleled travel experiences. We are building longer tables that foster collaboration, not higher walls that slow industry innovation.”
Spotnana, which was founded in New York in 2019, bills itself as a “unified cloud-based platform” that provides each user with a consistent interface and booking experience — it serves as a single platform for both travellers and agents, who can see the same travel inventory, profiles, policies, and rates at the same time.
Spotnana was started by two Indian entrepreneurs: Sarosh Waghmar, a serial entrepreneur with more than two decades of travel industry expertise, and Shikhar Agarwal, a former ThoughtSpot founding engineer, Google engineer, and IIT graduate.
“Spotnana is a completely new type of solution provider for the travel industry,” said Henry Ellenbogen, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Durable Capital Partners LP. “They are experiencing tremendous growth, because their innovations go far beyond an elegant online booking tool. By modernizing the entire technology stack for booking a trip, they are breaking down the walls between suppliers and travelers and opening the door to a new level of personalization in the booking process. Spotnana has the potential to be a long-term, sustainable success.”
Spotnana can be utilised in a variety of ways, either as a full standalone product with an interface or as an API that lets third-party developers use Spotnana’s infrastructure to construct their own solutions. Spotnana’s fundamental mission is to introduce “consumer-grade” booking solutions into the enterprise while also allowing anyone to use its booking engine and data connections.
Spotnana, on the other hand, is led by a rather strong team. Waghmar previously founded WTMC, a digital travel management startup, and CTO Shikhar Agarwal formerly worked at Google Brain. Then there’s Steve Singh, the executive chairman who launched travel cost management business Concur before selling it to SAP for more than $8B in 2014. Singh joined Madrona Venture Group as managing director in 2020, and co-led Spotnana’s series A funding round.