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How growth capital from BGF helped Travcorp reach new heights
In October 2021, BGF led a £3.7m equity round into the company, co-investing alongside Travcorp’s management team. The investment has enabled Travcorp to further develop its technology, marketing operations and destination offering, while supporting an ambitious recruitment drive.
Following a strong year for the travel business post-pandemic, we asked Andrew Botterill, executive chairman of Travcorp, about his reasons for partnering with BGF.
Why did you choose BGF as your investment partner?
We were talking to BGF prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and, although we weren’t sure which route we would end up taking, we knew we wanted to expedite Travcorp’s growth. As a travel business, however, the onset of COVID-19 paused all conversations around investment and expansion. Instead, our attention and efforts were directed towards looking after our customers and team. We were entirely focused on the here and now.
As we navigated what the pandemic meant for the future of our business and the travel industry, the team at BGF kept in close contact. Despite BGF facing its own challenges, working hard to support its existing investments through the pandemic, we were made to feel like part of the portfolio. So, when it came time to do a deal, BGF was a very easy choice. As a board and management team, we’d already benefitted from our partnership with BGF, at the worst possible time for our industry.
The values match was clear and it was proof of BGF’s long-term outlook, which sets them apart from other investors. Even with very powerful market headwinds, BGF believed that travel would come back strongly and saw the same opportunity that we did.
How did you decide to push forward with your growth strategy?
For much of 2020 and 2021, our focus was on survival as a business. But we still knew there would be growth opportunities for Travcorp, particularly if we emerged from this period of COVID restrictions in good financial health.
I must give credit to the BGF team, as they completed this deal against a backdrop in which our business was facing restrictions. But we all agreed that it was the right time to make investments into the business, to be best placed for growth as the travel industry started to take off again. We were already well-funded and, with BGF’s backing, we had more confidence in our growth plans and were even more ambitious than before.
What do you think has made Travcorp so successful?
As a company, we are asset-light and very agile, so it’s straightforward for us to pull levers around cost if we need to. Our agility meant we were also able to look after people during the pandemic. Our customer experience improved as a result too. We invest in proprietary technology, which means we can design and develop our offering around our customers’ needs, and we have a track record of scalable, aggressive growth.
Where next for Travcorp?
Having already surpassed £100m in sales in November 2022, Travcorp has more growth on the horizon, with a broader destination focus (including the US and South Africa) this year. Customers are also looking for more experiential travel options, such as cruises, an area that we’ve already expanded into.
As consumers continue to seek out bucket list destinations and once-in-a-lifetime holidays, we’ll also add tours and multi-centre holidays. This type of offering typically requires more expertise and manual intervention, so we’ll ensure that Travcorp is geared up for this, to continue providing the exceptional service that we’re known for.
What advice would you give to other businesses looking for funding?
Investors look for management teams that they rate highly and want to back. And I’d say the same to any entrepreneurs looking for investors. Before you commit to a deal, you should have the confidence to seek out and spend time getting to know an investment team, to make sure you like and trust them.
Raising money can be stressful but, compared to my previous experiences, the process with BGF was refreshingly transparent. The goalposts never moved.
Retail, leisure & hospitality
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