U.K. fintech startup Upgrade Pack surpasses $6.5M in seed funding for its travel upgrade platform
Upgrade Pack, a U.K. fintech startup that provides the world’s first app providing exclusive, discounted flight and hotel upgrades, has surpassed $6.5 million (£5 million) in seed funding after finalizing a new £1.5m private investment round today.
Founded in 2018 by Craig Unsworth and Urchana Moudgil, Upgrade Pack is transforming the way upgrades are attained by the most valued customers and employees of the world’s most innovative companies. Upgrade Pack’s proprietary ‘closed marketplace’ connects travelers with exclusive, premium flight and hotel upgrades at a reduced price, in a simple, easy-to-use app. Upgrade Pack is the UK’s first tech company to give all employees share options through its Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) scheme.
The new finance raise swiftly follows the company’s expansion into APAC in August last year and will fuel further commercial growth in the region after strong interest from travel partners and banking clients in 2019. The funding, which increases Upgrade Pack’s market cap to $30 million just 18 months after being established, will also facilitate the company entering the North America market, with the opening of a Toronto office in H1 2020.
Upgrade Pack’s closed online marketplace connects directly to airline and hotel APIs, providing users with access to live and exclusive premium seat and room upgrades at a typical saving of 15% to 35%.
Upgrade Pack is exclusively distributed through banks and credit card issuers as a premium customer reward, and through corporations as an innovative employee benefit. The company will launch its highly anticipated platform this year after onboarding its first banking client, which will roll out the app to its high-net-worth (HNW) customers.
Commenting on the funding, Group CEO Craig Unsworth, said: “With our inaugural banking and airline partners confirmed, and unwavering interest from hotels around the world to join our platform, this new capital will help us fully release the commercial potential of Upgrade Pack in 2020 and beyond. Alongside launch, our near-term focus will be on expanding our APAC commercial and marketing teams in Singapore and opening our North American operation in Toronto.”
“Many investors have said just how compelling and unlike anything else hitting their desks our app is,” continued Unsworth. “That feedback, together with how quickly we’ve secured this funding, just days after opening it up, shows the excitement around what we’re creating. It’s also a really pleasing validation of our strategy of growth through private investment rather than venture capital as we take our platform live this year.”