– UK, London – Duffel, the London-based travel startup, and Blossom Capital today announced an investment round of $4.7 million. The investment is the largest early-stage round any European company has raised straight out of the Y Combinator program.
The UK headquartered company was founded by two former early GoCardless employees: Steve Domin and Tom Bates, as well as Vincent Pastor. Steve and Tom join the list of impressive GoCardless alumni, which include the founders of Monzo and Nested.
The Duffel team will use the funding to expand their engineering team in London as they seek to build one of the most technically sophisticated startups in Europe. Duffel is developing innovative solutions for some of the most complex challenges in the travel market with the plan to bring them to market in 2019.
The company is currently taking part in the summer Y Combinator program in California. Previous Y Combinator alumni in the travel and transport market include Airbnb, Flexport and Cruise.
Blossom Capital is the lead investor in the round and has built a syndicate with other major investors, The Crankstart Foundation and Index Ventures.
Steve Domin, founder of Duffel said: ‘We are building a platform from scratch that will completely redefine the nature of travel experiences booked on web or mobile. The travel industry hasn’t evolved its technology to service the demand and behaviours of its most important customers and the providers – airlines, hotels, transport companies – and their customers are hurting as a result. Travel agents still work on terminals that look like they’re from the 70s and travel buyers still have to browse 10 websites before finding that perfect fare. This shouldn’t be the case any more and we’re planning to solve this issue from the ground up.
‘Blossom has supported our vision from day one and it’s fantastic to see that more and more European investors are willing to back founders with ambitious plans early.’
Commenting Blossom Capital founder Ophelia Brown said: ‘The Duffel team have very ambitious plans to completely reinvent the travel space, so we are very excited to support them in their mission. Similar to payments, before the emergence of next-gen companies like Adyen or Stripe, this is an industry that hasn’t witnessed innovation in decades, still running on antiquated rails and infrastructure. We see huge opportunity for innovation in this multi-trillion dollar industry and believe the Duffel team are building the most compelling product we’ve seen after spending a lot of time searching for a truly disruptive solution in this market.
‘We’re increasingly seeing European founders raising money from the next generation of European funds like ourselves (Blossom Capital). Combining the help, support and ambition traditionally associated with West Coast funds with the local expertise in building unicorns in the European ecosystem has proven to be the winning combination globally minded founders are looking for.’
‘This is the second firm that we have invested in straight out of Y Combinator – with more on the way soon – we’re proud to have become the fund of choice for European YC alumni.’
Duffel is a Y Combinator startup that has identified key pain points in the travel market and is developing innovative solutions to tackle them.
Duffel was founded in 2017 by former GoCardless engineers Steve Domin, Vincent Pastor and Tom Bates.
Y Combinator is a program for early stage startups based in Silicon Valley. Successful companies to have gone through the program in Silicon Valley include Airbnb, Dropbox and Stripe. The program counts 16 unicorn companies (valued at >$1bn) among their alumni.
Duffel is the second Y Combinator firm to have received investment from Blossom in recent months – with more anticipated to be announced in the near future.
For more information, visit duffel.com
About Blossom Capital
Blossom Capital is a leading venture capital firm headquartered in London, investing in Europe with a global outlook. Blossom’s partners uniquely combine investment and operational experience, coming from Index Ventures, Facebook and Uber. Recent investments include Fat Llama, an online marketplace for renting belongings like audio, video, sound and DJ equipment.
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