It’s hardly a secret why startups like Hostmaker, Love Home Swap and Stasher are all super-successful: people love to travel. More importantly, they love to travel without any hassle. Given this includes finding the inspiration for their next trip, it’s easy to see why Culture Trip, the startup using tech to inspire would-be travellers, just managed to raise a huge $80m (£57.27m) series B investment.
Having launched in 2011, the London-based startup’s latest round was spearheaded by PPF Group, the VC firm. This is not the first time the Dutch outfit has given Culture Trip a huge vote of confidence – PPF Group also led the startup’s $20m (£14.3m) series A round in 2016. With the series B, the business has now raised a cool $102m (£73.13m) in total and it’s safe to say that the company plans to makes the most of it.
Culture Trip has already announced plans to launch an online travel booking division later this year which will connect boutique hotels, independent hotels, hostels and experience providers with the company’s rapidly rising millennial following. The company also plans to use the new influx of capital to expand its engineering and creative workforce.
Moreover, Culture Trip has also announced plans to beef up its leadership team with executives from Facebook, YouTube and Google. The list of new top dogs includes the new CMO Mike Fox who was previously part of the early team responsible for growing Facebook’s annual advertising business and the new CRO Dick Soule who was YouTube’s first head of global sales.
Commenting on the new hires and the new money, Kris Naudts, founder and CEO of Culture Trip, said: “I’m thrilled to have such world-class tech talent on our growing executive team and board. With this investment and quality of leadership, Culture Trip is now ready to enter a new phase of hyper-growth.”
“I started Culture Trip with the ambition of applying my long-standing passion for global culture and creativity to building a tech company that could innovate in this space. With this game-changing investment, Culture Trip is focused on improving the current user experience and value proposition with the aim of building a leading, global consumer brand that will disrupt the media and travel industries through its creative content and tech.”
With backers like PPF Group and a C-suite packed with veterans from the world’s leading tech titans, we’re more than tempted to believe him.