Time to switch from Concur. Try TripActions, a better way to book your business travel

I recently heard about a family member’s upcoming wedding in Canada. That evening, my wife and I kicked off a time-honored ritual. We checked our calendars, blocked off times, and then started the search for flights and hotels for our family. We searched Expedia, Orbitz, and Kayak, compared prices, set up travel alerts, and debated the pros and cons of spending a bit more to avoid a stopover in Chicago or saving some cash by leaving at 6am. Sound familiar?

And, around the same time, I booked a trip for work. I scanned for flight availability, ensured the prices were within corporate policy and I booked it. No shopping around for price, no waiting for a better fare, no thinking through all of the options. And I cursed Concur. Sorry, Mr. CFO, but I didn’t try to save you any money. I optimized for convenience and miles. We’ve all done this, haven’t we?

How can we influence business travelers to treat company travel budget the same way they treat their own travel budget?

This is the bold question Ariel Cohen and Ilan Twig, the co-founders of TripActions asked themselves when they were looking for their next big challenge. They took a close look at the Business Travel Management space and found all the right ingredients for a startup: a large $200B market, legacy vendors such as Concur (acquired for $8.3B by SAP), Carlson Wagonlit, American Express, Egencia, and, finally, a distinct lack of innovation in the space. When they were getting TripActions off the ground and doing market research, they heard a surprisingly consistent emotional and negative reaction to the question: “Do you use a travel booking application at work and are you happy with it?

What TripActions has accomplished in the past 20 months is impressive. They have built a modern, mobile-first travel booking application that brings business travel up to par with the consumer world. The TripActions mobile and web application presents a familiar, easy-to-use interface, powered by advanced machine learning that surfaces personalized and relevant travel options in a transparent manner. Booking is fast, easy, and convenient. Up-to-date notifications flow through the application, and the TripActions global support team delivers pro-active, real-time support, in many cases before the traveler even knows there’s an issue.

TripActions incentivizes travelers by presenting more cost-effective flights and hotels and awarding TripBucks which can be redeemed for rewards, such as a $100 Amazon gift card for taking an earlier flight. And best of all, TripActions provides a large, unbiased inventory of travel options and gives employees access to choices that honor their existing loyalty programs. All in all, TripActions delivers a better, more modern booking experience and saves companies up to 30% on their travel expenses.

TripActions is launching today with over 70 customers that have proven that with the right travel booking application and the right incentives, business travelers will indeed change their behavior.

Today, we are excited to announce our investment in TripActions, which has raised $15M to modernize the way business travelers book their trips.

This is our second time backing Ariel and Ilan, two exceptional entrepreneurs that we have now worked with for over half a decade. At Lightspeed, we’re extremely excited about our partnership with the TripActions team as they rethink the Business Travel Management space and bring the power of machine learning, cloud computing and modern mobile-interfaces to business travelers. For more information on TripActions, visit www.tripactions.com

Arif Janmohamed is a Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners. He lends significant cloud, mobile and analytics expertise to the TripActions team. In his free time, Arif plays ice hockey with his wife, who yells at him for never passing the puck to her.

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