Greenoaks, Vy Capital lead $13 mn funding round in travel startup ITILITE

Greenoaks, Vy Capital lead $13 mn funding round in travel startup ITILITE
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20 Apr, 2020

Bengaluru-based ITILITE Technologies, a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based business travel management platform, has raised $13 million in a Series B funding round led by venture capital firms Greenoaks Capital and Vy Capital.

Returning investors Matrix Partners India and others also participated in the round, the business-to-business (B2B) company said in a statement. It did not disclose the names of the other investors.

The startup said it will use the fresh capital to expand internationally and for product innovation.

With the current round, the company has raised a total of about $18 million so far, according to data from research platform VCCEdge.

In January last year, it raised Rs 30 crore ($4.2 million) in a Series A funding round from investors including Matrix Partners India and Vy Capital. A group of angel investors, including Helion Ventures founder Ashish Gupta, also participated in the round.

In November 2017, it raised an undisclosed amount from Matrix Partners India, as per VCCEdge.

Amazon India director Sameer Khetarpal, KKR India Advisors director Ananya Tripathi and Temasek India director Vishesh Shrivastav have also invested in the company in the past, VCCEdge data showed.

ITILITE was founded in 2017 by Mayank Kukreja and Anish Khadiya, both of whom have worked at consulting firm McKinsey and fashion etailer Myntra earlier. While Kukreja is an IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad alumnus, Khadiya graduated from IIT Kharagpur and IIM Lucknow. 

The startup provides a SaaS platform to help companies reduce travel costs and incentivise employees to save on travel expenses. The artificial intelligence-powered platform, which includes a 90-second booking facility, claims to help companies save upto 30% through controls and employee incentives.

ITILITE works with over 200 mid and large enterprise customers across India, US and Southeast Asia, including Jockey, RPG Group, Toshiba JSW, Ola, Swiggy and Capillary Technologies.

“Around the world, digital transformation of business travel is underway and we are well positioned to help them to modernise their processes using technology. This capital will be instrumental in further strengthening our international presence and driving product innovation to deliver higher value to our customers,” Kukreja said.

San Francisco headquartered venture capital firm Greenoaks Capital has investments in B2B marketplace Zetwerk, SoftBank-backed hospitality chain OYO and Kunal Shah-led Dreamplug Technologies, which operates credit card rewards platform Cred.

Dubai-based Vy Capital was set up in 2013 by Alexander Tamas, who was earlier a top dealmaker at Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s DST Global. Vy Capital focuses on the internet and software sectors. Its portfolio includes food delivery firm Zomato, micro-lending startup SmartCoin and home services startup Urban Company (formerly UrbanClap).

The travel and tourism industry is one of the most adversely impacted sectors due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

ITILITE said that while it experienced a temporary dip in revenue, it also recorded an increased interest from companies that are trying to explore better ways to manage business travel. 

Read: Coronavirus India LIVE updates

“Since the pandemic started, ITILITE has also introduced several new features that will help its customers to bring in a higher degree of employee safety when travel resumes, including identifying the hotels that follow World Health Organization guidelines and listing them on the platform as ‘COVID Safe’. The platform has over 1,50,000 users across the 200 companies,” the statement added.

Additionally, there have been several layoffs and furloughs across the travel-tech sector due to Covid-19.

Last week, homegrown travel and hotel software solutions provider RateGain sent some of its employees on unpaid leave, citing Covid-19 induced revenue decline and business uncertainty for the next few months.

Earlier this month, budget hotels aggregator Treebo offered a paid voluntary resignation scheme (PVRS) to its employees. Hotel chain OYO reportedly laid off hundreds of employees in the US across multiple divisions.

Travel and hotel booking firm Ixigo slashed employee salaries by 20-50% to avoid layoffs, while travel aggregator MakeMyTrip reportedly laid off about 400 employees.

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