TravelPerk has snapped up Click Travel in its largest acquisition to date and the third in the last 12 months.
The move, part of its ambitious post-Covid growth strategy, will see all 150 Click Travel staff “gradually integrated” into TravelPerk.
In a Q&A with The Business Travel Magazine TravelPerk’s CEO and co-founder, Avi Meir, said the company was “committed to ensuring there will be no redundancies”.
He said the two businesses will continue to run as two independent platforms before an eventual full integration when both will fall under the TravelPerk name.
He said Click Travel’s Birmingham head office will become a major UK hub for TravelPerk, which is based in Barcelona and also has offices in London, Berlin and Chicago.
The move comes after two other acquisitions by the SME-focused company following a $160 million Series D funding. It purchased risk management start-up Albatross in July 2020 and US business travel platform NexTravel in January.
This latest acquisition was funded by capital from the Baupost Group, a Boston-based investment manager with roughly $31b in assets under management.
The deal includes Click Travel’s employees, technology and customer base. Click Travel handles £300 million in business travel for over 2,000 SME clients, including Five Guys, Red Bull and TalkTalk
“We’re really excited to welcome Click Travel’s fantastic and talented team to TravelPerk to build long term growth and to significantly expand our on-the-ground team in the UK,” said Meir.
“Since March last year, our strategy has been to invest massively in our product offering and in our global reach, so that we were well-positioned for the recovery when it came. Today’s news is a major part of that plan.”
TravelPerk claims to be the only player in the travel industry to continue scaling and growing since the start of the pandemic without making any lay-offs.
It said its acquisition strategy is driven by a focus on businesses that “share its future-focused, tech-driven approach to travel management”.
Click Travel CEO, James McLean, said there was a “natural cultural fit” between the two companies, who together make a “powerful proposition”.
The company’s former CEO, Jill Palmer, left in February to “pursue the next chapter of her career”. She had joined the TMC eight years before as Operations Director and was promoted to CEO in July 2015.
In May 2021, TravelPerk announced $160m in Series D funding, taking the total amount raised to date to $294m.
Its investors include DST, Kinnevik, Target Global, Felix Capital, Greyhound Capital, Spark Capital, Heartcore, LocalGlobe, Amplo, and 14W, which have invested in some of the most disruptive companies in tech including Zalando, Slack, Trello, Twitter, and Farfetch.
Meir said he was optimistic about the recovery of the sector.
“There is no doubt that the business travel market is on track for a full recovery after the disruption of the last year,” he said.
“The meetings that matter will always happen in person and we are already seeing plenty of green shoots in our key markets.”
See more on the acquisition and Avi Meir’s thoughts on the business travel recovery in our Q&A.