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Technology to make business travel easy

Click Travel

Where the journey began

Click Travel is on a mission to take the pain out of business travel.

What started out as a hotel booking agency in 1999 has transformed into an online booking platform looking after every aspect of business travel, from flights and trains to hotels and meetings.

Click Travel manages millions of travel bookings a year for a wide variety of businesses from the FTSE 100 to the public and third sector.

BGF on the board

As part of the investment plan, BGF investor Mark Freer joined the Click Travel board.

BGF Talent Network  

Technical offering

Chief executive Jill Palmer says the growth of the Birmingham-based business really took off when it launched its online platform in 2007.

“Our philosophy is that customers should be able to use technology to book their business travels themselves, supported by 24/7 outstanding customer service. Once the platform was up and running, turnover started doubling each year.”

The founders of Click Travel, brothers James and Simon McLean, had been speaking to BGF for a number of years but it wasn’t until 2018, when the company was focusing on its technology offering, that BGF came onboard with a multi-million pound investment.

BGF's funding has helped Click Travel to...

Rewrite its technical architecture.

Launch a software-as-a-service model aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises.

Prepare for global expansion.

The power of networking

“We had crystalised our thinking on investment and were interested in someone taking a minority stake in the business, so BGF ticked a lot of boxes,” explains Jill. “We were in the middle of a fundamental rewrite of our tech architecture and BGF enabled us to complete that and to launch a new software-as-a-service model, which is a completely new revenue stream aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises.”

Jill says BGF’s support has gone far beyond a cash injection for new technology. “One of the strong things about BGF is the access to resources and know-how. For example, we reached out to them to find out about app developers and three different people came back with suggestions.

“Along with the addition of our BGF investor, Mark Freer, coming onto our board, the team has also helped us to find a finance director so we could enhance our finance function – all without the need of a recruiter.”

Jill also values the access she has to other leaders of portfolio companies. “Networking with other CEOs has been really useful, both in terms of knowledge sharing and ideas, as well as an opportunity to introduce more companies to what we do (and us to what they do). Everybody wins.”

One of the strong things about BGF is the access to resources and know-how. For example, we reached out to them to find out about app developers and three different people came back with suggestions.

 

Jill Palmer, chief executive of Click Travel

30%

Click Travel achieved growth of 30%​ a year between 2012-19.

Unexplored areas

In 2019, Click Travel had its best ever year – selling more new business than ever before and hitting two thirds of its annual target in the first half. Looking to the future, Jill has her sights set on new markets.

“We want to totally explode the small and medium-sized enterprise market, we don’t believe there is a product out there that adequately supports small business travel needs,” she says.

“The other unexplored area for us is selling business travel in other markets. We already support our customers wherever they are in the world, so it’s time to take advantage of our global footprint.”

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