Making it Work

Irish travel tech TripAdmit raises €1.2m for software package with further fundraise planned

The travel tech company has signed contracts with eight major airlines for a white-label software solution that allows them to market tourism and activities to customers

John Maguire, chief executive, and Andy Kelly, chief technology officer, TripAdmit: the travel tech company is aiming to raise up to €5 million in a Series A funding round in the next 12 months. Picture: Emilia Krysztofiak

In the last 18 months TripAdmit, an Irish travel tech company, has defied the pandemic and raised €1.2 million for a software package it claims can “digitise the tourism and activities industry”.

Now the firm, which employs 17 people and has the backing of Enterprise Ireland, is planning another bridge fundraise worth €1 million to scale up its operations after enjoying rapid growth in the first quarter of 2022 amid the return of international travel.

After that, TripAdmit is aiming to raise up to €5 million in a Series A funding round in the next 12 months, having signed contracts with eight major airlines for a white-label software solution that allows aviation companies to market tourism and activities to customers in the same way they sell hotel and car hire packages.

The company also works directly with tourism and activity companies around the world, selling them booking software so they can increase their online sales. It has hundreds of thousands of activities in its product catalogue, helping clients who sell everything from scuba diving in the Maldives to cycling tours of Cuba.

John Maguire, TripAdmit’s co-founder and chief executive, said the business was in expansion mode after a difficult two years. “The investment we raised in the pandemic, I hope, will be the hardest money we ever have to make,” Maguire told the Business Post.

He founded TripAdmit in 2018 after spending more than two decades in the travel industry. He realised that tourism and activities companies were lagging behind others in the sector when it came to technology.

“What I found in the tourism and activities industry was an industry that hadn’t digitised,” he recalled. “That was the lightbulb moment for TripAdmit.”

In March 2020 and still in its infancy as a company, TripAdmit was forced to contend with the fact that most of its target customers would not be operating for the foreseeable future as a result of the pandemic. That left Maguire and Andrew Kelly, his co-founder, with a choice.

“We sat down and we said: ‘We can do one of two things. We can either hibernate, or shelve it until the pandemic passes, or we can actually go for this’,” he said.

They took the latter option, and spent the next year building out the technology that now underpins TripAdmit. With the backing of some loyal investors the pair were able to hire a team to support them, and were ready to spring into action once people began holidaying abroad again.

By the end of this year, the company expects to have completed its Series A, added up to 30 new staff and signed up 15 airlines to its network, a move that will make it one of the biggest players in the world in the white-label travel tech industry.

“For us, it’s a case now that we’re ready to scale this,” Maguire said. “We’re expanding the team further and going out raising further investment – and let’s just say there’s a lot fewer doors being closed in our faces this time around. We’re on a trajectory that’s certainly on an upward curve at the moment. This will be our first proper high season, and I can’t wait.”