Asian venture debt and speciality lending firm InnoVen Capital today (October 17) announced its second bet on curated travel platform TravelTriangle. The $3 Mn venture debt investment follows InnoVen Capital’s 2015 investment of $1.25 Mn in the startup.
Founded in 2011 by Sankalp Agarwal, Sanchit Garg, and Prabhat Gupta, TravelTriangle is an online travel marketplace that strives to bring travellers and travel agents on a common platform.
Essentially, it offers a SaaS-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform for travel agents to manage and analyse customer interactions and draw insights from to improve customer retention and drive sales growth.
“The funding acquired from InnoVen and our other esteemed investors will be directed to meet the pressing expansionary demands for the organisation, and strengthening our outbound based operations,” said Sankalp.
InnoVen Optimistic About TravelTriangle
InnoVen and TravelTriangle have shared a long and fruitful relationship for the past four years. It has offered considerable support to the travel platform in connecting with similar companies in China through its Asia platform and global parentage from Temasek.
Punit Shah, Director, InnoVen Capital India, said, “Travel Triangle has showcased growth coupled with healthy and positive unit economics. It has demonstrated a strong ‘say-do’ ratio since our first investment in 2015 and is well on its way of encompassing all the components of holiday ecosystem through its highly innovative and technology-focused product.”
Sankalp further believes that TravelTriangle’s evolution corresponds to the growth in the leisure travel market. At present, the platform covers 15+ countries and 65+ destinations. It also received a recent Series C funding of $12 Mn from the Nandan Nilekani and Sanjeev Aggarwal-backed Fundamentum.
India Outbound Tourism Market: An Overview
For the uninitiated, outbound tourism comprises the activities of residents of a given country travelling to and staying in places outside their country of residence and outside their usual environment for not more than 12 consecutive months for leisure, business and other purposes.
In an official statement, InnoVen Capital also indicated that the investment in TravelTriangle underlines its vision to put itself at the epicentre of a multibillion-dollar growth opportunity in the outbound tourism market.
In 2017, 17 Mn Indians travelled abroad, about 1.6% of India’s population. 65 Mn Indians have passports and have already established a $6.4 Bn leisure holidays market as of 2017, which is further expected to grow to $28 Bn by 2025.
At the same time, a September 2017 report by Research And Markets estimated that India outbound visitors will grow at a CAGR of 10% nearly by 2022, thereby helping India outbound tourism market to grow close to $45 by the year 2022.
“For long-haul, Indian prefers to go to Europe, United States (US), Australia, New Zealand etc. India has a large middle-class population which attracts most of the countries to design and promote their tourist destination. For this, almost all major countries have opened their tourist office in India,” the report added.
This growth is fuelled by rising income levels, the advent of low-cost airlines and budget accommodation as well as homestay options such as Airbnb.
The current venture debt funding further reinforces InnoVen’s stance as an investor in businesses that are a part of future high-return markets and have the potential to emerge as the leading players in their sector.
Till date, InnoVen Capital has provided over 165 loans to more than 130+ startups across various stages and geographies, including OYO, Swiggy, Pepperfry, BYJU’S and Yatra in India.
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