Brisbane-based startup Travello, which previously operated under the trade name of Outbound, has secured A$1.26 million ($952,944) in funding. The venture provides a social network for travellers and is being currently used in more than 200 countries.
This investment follows a capital infusion from a group of Queensland angel investors and a small pre-seed investment from the muru-D programme, backed by Australian telecom firm Telstra. The latest investment brings the aggregate equity financing in the firm to A$1.35 million ($1.02 million).
In an interaction with StartupSmart, co-founder and CEO Ryan Hanly said: “We’ve achieved validation and realised we have something that people want so now it’s time to scale up. That was the impetus for us raising money.”
According to Hanly, proceeds from this investment will fund expansion of the startup, which has recruited two new people for its technology team and added a new commercial director, as well as marketing to drive user acquisition and brand awareness.
Given the nature of the mobile app, it lends itself well to international expansion, riding on the strength of the Australian tourism market. A report by Tourism Australia reported 7.4 million short-term visitor arrivals to Australia in the 12 months ending December 2015, a rise of 8 per cent as compared to 2014.
Meanwhile, the latest International Visitor Survey (IVS) results for Australia reported that international expenditure for the 12 months ending December 2015 grew by 18 per cent, reaching a total value of A$36.6 billion.
What could drive Travel’s next phase of growth is strategic partnerships with various travel organisations and leverage on its international nature; integrating its app with Airbnb and leveraging on the Aussie Specialist programme, or entering into partnerships with regional budget airlines.