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Startup Travelstop pulls in US$1.2m in seed funding

SINGAPORE-based startup Travelstop has raised US$1.2 million (S$1.65 million) from investors, led by SeedPlus, a venture capital firm in Singapore, and a travel-focused one in the US.

Other investors during this round include founders of Zuzu Hospitality Solutions Dan Lynn and Vikram Malhi, president and chief operating officer of Rally Health, David Ko, and Jarrod Howe, regional operations director at Hyper Island Singapore.

The AI-powered software-as-a-service platforms aims to simplify business travel for companies in Asia by helping with the booking process, while also automating expense reporting. The Asia Pacific region is already the largest business travel market in the world, and is on track to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10.4 per cent between 2015-2023, said Travelstop.

Prashant Kirtane, Travelstop chief executive, said: “Young millennials and business travellers in Asia are technology savvy, socially driven and are smart travellers that actively participate in the sharing economy. These travellers aspire for more meaningful travel experiences, and we at Travelstop are building a modern business travel platform for the next-gen traveller. Our goal is to not only provide a delightful and flexible travel booking experience, but also make the post-trip expense management process more efficient.”

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Travelstop's chief technology officer Vijay Aggarwal, added: “Our goal is to leverage machine learning and AI to power experiences for today’s business traveller, while staying nimble and flexible by investing in modern infrastructure to power our platform.”

The funding will be used to drive product development, build a development team in Singapore, and to ramp up growth through sales and marketing, the startup said. This year, it will focus on priority markets such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.