Travel tech startup Spotnana has raised $75 million in a Series B round, led by Durable Capital Partners LP, founders Sarosh Waghmar and Shikhar Agarwal told VCCircle on Tuesday.
Existing investors Madrona Venture Group, Iconiq Growth, Mubadala Capital and Blank Ventures also participated in the round, said Waghmar, who is also chief executive officer and Agarwal, chief tech officer, Spotnana.
Waghmar did not specify the valuation at which it raised its Series B funding round but said it was raised at "several fold" higher valuation compared to the Series A round.
2020 was not the best year to launch a startup, remotely related to travel as the pandemic brought the prevailing world order to a grinding halt. But cloud-based travel technology startup Spotnana has been an outlier.
"Hospitality and travel were an industry decimated by Covid. As unfortunate as it was, it turned out to be a blessing for Spotnana," Waghmar told VCCircle in an interview. The startup was remote first from day one with offices in Bengaluru, Mumbai and the Bay Area.
"What accelerated our journey was our singular focus on modernizing the infrastructure for travel. This is an infrastructure play and not just an app for us," explained Waghmar, a serial entrepreneur with more than two decades of travel industry.
After working offline for nine months, Spotnana launched its beta product in September 2020. Since then, till June 2021, the startup signed up global customers and saw early revenue that led to its Series A funding from Iconiq Growth in September last year.
"Iconiq is typically a Series C or late-stage investor but since they liked our product, they invested in Spotnana at an early stage," said Waghmar. The startup has raised over $100 million in two years including the Series B funding round.
"The reason why the investors invested in our Series B round is because of the traction we have had, the revenue we generated and enterprise customers we closed. Our GTM (go-to-market) and product market fit were also very well established," he added.
The fresh capital will primarily be deployed to scale its engineering and product team and boost client-based verticals.
Agarwal, formerly a founding engineer at data analytics platform ThoughtSpot, said that initially its primary focus was on corporate travel vertical.
"Our entire vision was how do we build the backbone of the travel industry. So, we designed our architecture in a way that made us a global cloud native from day one," he stated.
The startup soon added a second vertical - travel agencies - who wanted to replace their existing technology stack with Spotnana's platform which helped them save costs and drive efficiency, pointed Agarwal.
Later, the startup also started offering its platform to its technical partners, helping them to easily add travel bookings to their product suite or build new products based on components of Spotnana’s architecture.
The fourth vertical that the startup is expanding to is direct suppliers like airlines and hotels who can use Spotnana's stack to push differentiated and personalized content, or just get the data to make business intelligence efficient, explained Agarwal.
Waghmar said that the startup has global customers, the majority of which are headquartered in the US. "But 45% of the global customers would have an entity in India whom we service," he added.
The startup also going after India-headquartered companies to expand its client base and expects to close a few relationships by the end of this year. The startup also aims to more than double its workforce in India. It currently has over 100 people in the country and expects to have close to 300 by the year end besides also expanding in global regions like Australia.
"Having a big focus on India is big part of our journey," he stated.
He also said that while the startup is currently focused on building its platform and executing its plans it is not ruling out any acquisition opportunities. "But acquisitions will happen at the right time," said Waghmar.