“The in-person connection is so powerful and that will never go away,” TripActions co-founder and CTO Ilan Twig said at a recent company all-hands. The TripActions team had come together to discuss what its round of Series E fundraising meant for the future of the organization and business travel at large.
Also joining the call were three investors who took part in the $155 million round. Their belief: that business travel is poised to come back stronger than ever…and that TripActions has the technology and team to herald in a new better way to manage, book, and pay for those trips.
Investor Elad Gil; Lee Fixel, founder of Addition; and David George, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz shared their insights into the industry and state of the world. TripActions is incredibly fortunate to have the support of a diverse and experienced group of investors this round, which also includes existing investors Zeev Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Greenoaks Capital.
While none of the investors claimed to have a crystal ball, each believed that in the coming years business travel would return to between 70% and 100% of pre-pandemic levels. They also agreed that fundamental shifts in how and where we work will only lead to more travel in the years to come.
Ilan asked the group how they envision the future of travel. We’re sharing their insights below:
“When sales people or investors are on the road meeting with companies, competitors will have to do the same thing. It might take a little bit of time to snowball, but it will come back. In the long term, people want to travel. It’s nice to meet people and it’s helpful from a business standpoint. We flew out to California to meet with the TripActions team and it was really productive to sit down and have a conversation in person.”
“Business travel will come back in a meaningful way.”
“Every single remote-first company that I was involved with pre-COVID actually traveled more and the reason is that every team had to get together periodically. The product team gets together, the engineering team gets together, and the entire company gets together so you end up with a lot more group travel in the pre-COVID world because of remote work. So even if there is more remote work after, which I think there will be, that would actually imply more travel overall.”
“In a world of remote work, it’s possible that people will have more travel. There’s no question that people miss the business trips to major cities and in-person meetings and dinners. So there’s the emotional piece.”
“One of the things I talk about is the lowest-common-denominator effect that could occur in sales, venture capital, or any sector where people travel for business. If your competitor is going to get on a plane and stay in a hotel and visit someone face-to-face, I think you’re going to be at a distinct disadvantage if you don’t do that. If you’re a sales rep who is competing for a deal, you’d better believe that there’s not just impact but there’s also a signal in committing to do that.”
Along with the other investors, he said he was also “very optimistic about the return of personal travel.”
Learn more about how TripActions’ latest round of fundraising highlights confidence in its vision for the future of business travel, work, and payments.