TripActions, A Corporate Travel Startup That Rewards Road Warriors For Booking Cheap Hotels, Is …

On Thursday, the company announced a new $250 million funding round led by venture firm Andreessen Horowitz’s new growth fund alongside Zeev …
TripActions cofounders Ariel Cohen and Ilan Twig

TripActions cofounders Ariel Cohen (CEO) and Ilan Twig (CTO)

TripActions

TripActions got off the ground by gamifying corporate travel and rewarding customers who chose cheaper hotel rooms with cash for personal travel or Amazon gift cards. Now investors are rewarding the startup’s fast-paced growth with money of their own.

On Thursday, the company announced a new $250 million funding round led by venture firm Andreessen Horowitz’s new growth fund alongside Zeev Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Group 11. TripAction’s valuation also quadrupled since its most recent $154 million funding round in November 2018 that valued it at $1 billion. The corporate travel startup has now raised a total of $480 million since its launch in 2015.

It’s a massive sum, but TripActions CEO and cofounder Ariel Cohen says he didn’t seek more money because the company was short on cash. Instead, he was asking himself one question: “Can I accelerate our growth?”

As if quadrupling its valuation wasn’t enough, now four years since its launch, TripActions now manages over $1.1 billion in trip budgets a year (actual spend, and subsequent revenues, are lower, but the company won’t disclose it). Companies like Lyft, WeWork and Sara Lee Frozen Bakery are among TripActions’ 2,000 customers, and it hass partnered with other expense management companies, like Divvy, to power travel booking inside their platforms.

Offering incentives, like Amazon credit to stay in a cheaper hotel an extra few blocks away, started as a way to draw travelers to TripAction’s platform and save companies money along the way. But extra cash alone wouldn’t keep employees coming back if it was a bad experience. Instead, the company sees its superpower as using machine learning to provide a faster and better booking experience—it claims an average of six minutes from start to finish—and offering around the clock customer support for the times when things go wrong.

TripActions works by sourcing flights and hotels largely from global distribution systems and third-party partners like Booking, Priceline and Expedia. It then narrows down the options using machine learning based on what it believes the employee might like based on information like their job title or loyalty programs on file, and shows employees what would work within their company’s travel policies.

TripActions

TripActions sources hotel rates from a number of third parties, then offers Amazon credit if customers choose bargain deals that save their employers money.

TripActions

Often, the rates are even cheaper than the corporate pre-negotiated deals because TripActions works with larger third parties that have cut their own volume discounts, says its cofounder and Chief Technology Officer Ilan Twig. “Even when you’re WeWork, Priceline is much bigger,” he says. He also sees it as a win-win for other travel sites because they get the money from the bookings, but without having to deal with fraud concerns or the customer support.

TripAction’s main revenue source comes from a $25 trip fee it charges companies every time an employee books a trip. It also takes a commission from some of its partners for hotels or flights booked. The company declined to disclose its revenue numbers and says it is not profitable yet, but Cohen said its unit economics are positive, showing it can do customer support at scale. “You can only continue to have good service if the unit economics work,” Cohen says.

But like any journey, TripActions also ran into a bit of turbulence at the start of 2019. Delta blocked TripActions from booking flights over a disagreement on how TripActions had been displaying Delta’s fare classes. TripActions claims it had already been working on a better way to display flights so that customers could understand the difference between business class on Delta and Polaris on United, but the disagreement stalled Delta sales for over a month. As industry outsiders (Cohen and Twig had previously started and sold business communications startup streamOnce), they admit they didn’t understand the problem at first, but they’ve become pioneers of the solution: a new technology standard called Next Generation Storefront, a way to share and display fare information that was backed by Delta, United and American Airlines.

The system not only makes it easy to see all of a flights amenities up front, like whether it’ll have Wi-Fi, but it also ranks fare classes on a star system so it’s easy to tell that a main cabin seat on Delta is somewhat equivalent to an economy seat on United.

TripActions itinerary screen

TripActions’ Next Generation Storefront uses a star system to make it easy for customers to understand a fare class.

TripActions

In February, Delta returned to TripActions, and the Atlanta-based airline now praises TripActions for being an early adopter of the system. Because of the change though, TripActions stopped offering rewards for taking cheaper flights, the startup says. Now, it only rewards employees for hotel bookings.

In June, the company announced that it partnered with United for direct access to United’s inventory, which allows TripActions to skip using a third party and book directly. Now on a clearer flight path, TripActions is hoping the $250 million in new funding will just add fuel and allow the company to move faster. “We want to remove the stress around booking your trip and getting service on the go,” Cohen says.

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Market Fallers: easyJet plc & Direct Line Insurance Group PLC

Stock in Direct Line Insurance Group PLC with company EPIC: LON:DLG has slid -1.99% or -6.45 points throughout today’s trading session so far.

The trading price for easyJet plc with company EPIC: LON:EZJ has dropped -2.15% or -24.5 points during today’s session so far. Sellers have so far given a mostly negative outlook throughout the session. The high for the period has peaked at 1142.25 and hitting a low of 1109. The total volume of shares traded by this point was 469,038 while the average shares exchanged is 2,816,268. A 52 week high for the stock is 1808.5 equating to 667.5 points difference from the previous days close and putting the 52 week low at 997.3 making a difference of 143.7 points. easyJet plc now has a 20 SMA at 1163.92 and now its 50 day moving average of 1194.33. The market cap now stands at £4,436.81m at the time of this report. The share price is in Great British pence. Mcap is measured in GBP. This article was written with the last trade for easyJet plc being recorded at Friday, May 3, 2019 at 12:02:20 PM GMT with the stock price trading at 1116.5 GBX.

Stock in Direct Line Insurance Group PLC with company EPIC: LON:DLG has slid -1.99% or -6.45 points throughout today’s trading session so far. Sellers were far from a positive bunch while the stock has been in play. The high for the period has reached 324 and a low of 317.85. The amount of shares exchanged has so far reached 1,725,108 with the daily average traded share volume around 5,046,425. The stock 52 week high is 378.6 which is 54.3 points difference from the previous days close and the 52 week low at 300.66 a difference of some 23.64 points. Direct Line Insurance Group PLC now has a 20 SMA of 339.36 with a 50 day SMA of 351.06. This puts the market capitalisation now at £4,370.44m at the time of this report. All share prices mentioned for this stock are traded in GBX. Mcap is measured in GBP. This article was written with the last trade for Direct Line Insurance Group PLC being recorded at Friday, May 3, 2019 at 12:03:12 PM GMT with the stock price trading at 317.85 GBX.

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Bridgewater Associates LP Has Trimmed Copart (CPRT) Position; Last Week easyJet plc (LON:EZJ …

Bridgewater Associates Lp decreased Copart Inc (CPRT) stake by 81.26% reported in 2018Q4 SEC filing. Bridgewater Associates Lp sold 80,449 …

easyJet plc (LON:EZJ) Logo

Among 13 analysts covering Easyjet (LON:EZJ), 4 have Buy rating, 0 Sell and 9 Hold. Therefore 31% are positive. Easyjet had 38 analyst reports since November 5, 2018 according to SRatingsIntel. The firm has “Neutral” rating given on Wednesday, April 3 by UBS. On Wednesday, November 21 the stock rating was maintained by Barclays Capital with “Equal Weight”. The firm has “Hold” rating given on Tuesday, November 6 by Liberum Capital. The rating was maintained by Credit Suisse with “Outperform” on Monday, November 5. The stock of easyJet plc (LON:EZJ) earned “Hold” rating by Liberum Capital on Tuesday, November 27. The company was maintained on Tuesday, February 12 by Societe Generale. The rating was downgraded by Barclays Capital on Thursday, January 17 to “Underweight”. The rating was maintained by Credit Suisse with “Outperform” on Thursday, November 15. The stock of easyJet plc (LON:EZJ) earned “Outperform” rating by RBC Capital Markets on Tuesday, January 22. As per Thursday, March 28, the company rating was maintained by Credit Suisse. See easyJet plc (LON:EZJ) latest ratings:

24/04/2019 Broker: Barclays Capital Rating: Underweight Old Target: GBX 1130.00 Maintain

08/04/2019 Broker: Bernstein Rating: Market Perform Old Target: GBX 1100.00 New Target: GBX 1000.00 Upgrade

03/04/2019 Broker: UBS Rating: Neutral Old Target: GBX 1310.00 New Target: GBX 1080.00 Maintain

02/04/2019 Broker: RBC Capital Markets Rating: Outperform Old Target: GBX 1600.00 New Target: GBX 1300.00 Maintain

02/04/2019 Broker: Barclays Capital Rating: Underweight Old Target: GBX 1200.00 New Target: GBX 1130.00 Maintain

02/04/2019 Broker: Credit Suisse Rating: Outperform Old Target: GBX 1571.00 New Target: GBX 1241.00 Maintain

02/04/2019 Broker: HSBC Rating: Hold Old Target: GBX 1650.00 New Target: GBX 1100.00 Downgrade

02/04/2019 Broker: Berenberg Rating: Hold Old Target: GBX 1040.00 Upgrade

01/04/2019 Broker: Liberum Capital Rating: Hold Old Target: GBX 1350.00 Maintain

28/03/2019 Broker: Credit Suisse Rating: Outperform Old Target: GBX 1683.00 New Target: GBX 1571.00 Maintain

Bridgewater Associates Lp decreased Copart Inc (CPRT) stake by 81.26% reported in 2018Q4 SEC filing. Bridgewater Associates Lp sold 80,449 shares as Copart Inc (CPRT)’s stock rose 12.25%. The Bridgewater Associates Lp holds 18,547 shares with $886,000 value, down from 98,996 last quarter. Copart Inc now has $15.19B valuation. The stock increased 0.80% or $0.53 during the last trading session, reaching $66.54. About 572,885 shares traded. Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT) has risen 26.40% since May 2, 2018 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 22.03% the S&P500. Some Historical CPRT News: 17/05/2018 – COPART SAYS IT CAN NOW EXPAND OPERATIONS IN BEXAR COUNTY; 23/05/2018 – Copart 3Q EPS 52c; 17/05/2018 – Copart Fulfills New Owner Promise to Clear Hazardous Tires; 09/03/2018 – COPART BUYS NORDIC SALVAGE AUTO AUCTION CO; 23/05/2018 – COPART 3Q REV. $478.2M, EST. $438.0M; 09/03/2018 Copart Acquires Nordic Salvage Auto Auction Company; 23/05/2018 – COPART 3Q ADJ EPS 52C, EST. 49C; 17/05/2018 – CPRT CLEARS SCRAP TIRES AT EX-SAFE TIRE FACILITY IN SAN ANTONIO; 22/04/2018 – DJ Copart Inc, Inst Holders, 1Q 2018 (CPRT); 30/03/2018 – Copart Site Visit Scheduled By Wedbush for Apr. 4

More notable recent Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT) news were published by: Globenewswire.com which released: “Report: Exploring Fundamental Drivers Behind Copart, Veeco Instruments, SunLink Health, and Identiv — New Horizons, Emerging Trends, and Upcoming Developments – GlobeNewswire” on April 30, 2019, also Nasdaq.com with their article: “Commit To Purchase Copart At $65, Earn 11.2% Annualized Using Options – Nasdaq” published on April 26, 2019, Nasdaq.com published: “PRFZ, CPRT, FCN, BCO: Large Outflows Detected at ETF – Nasdaq” on April 09, 2019. More interesting news about Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT) were released by: Prnewswire.com and their article: “CrashedToys Sacramento, Calif. Location Open for Business – PRNewswire” published on April 05, 2019 as well as Nasdaq.com‘s news article titled: “Caseys General Stores, Inc. (CASY) Ex-Dividend Date Scheduled for April 30, 2019 – Nasdaq” with publication date: April 29, 2019.

Investors sentiment decreased to 0.8 in Q4 2018. Its down 0.35, from 1.15 in 2018Q3. It dived, as 51 investors sold CPRT shares while 164 reduced holdings. 45 funds opened positions while 127 raised stakes. 183.59 million shares or 6.34% more from 172.64 million shares in 2018Q3 were reported. Smith Thomas W reported 163,300 shares or 6.56% of all its holdings. Prescott General Limited Liability Company invested in 348,520 shares or 0.74% of the stock. Stifel Fin Corp reported 0.04% of its portfolio in Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT). Rmb Cap Mgmt Ltd Llc reported 92,929 shares. Legacy Private Com has 0.18% invested in Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT). Strs Ohio has 40,139 shares. 86,086 were reported by Fjarde Ap. Jlb Assocs Inc has invested 2.94% of its portfolio in Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT). Echo Street Mgmt Lc reported 0.3% of its portfolio in Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT). Pub Employees Retirement Of Ohio invested in 289,718 shares. Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board reported 18,738 shares or 0.02% of all its holdings. Tower Rech Capital Limited Liability Com (Trc) has invested 0.06% in Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT). State Bank Of America De reported 1.30M shares. Ledyard Comml Bank owns 0% invested in Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT) for 450 shares. Raymond James And Associates accumulated 0.03% or 354,891 shares.

Since January 15, 2019, it had 0 buys, and 1 sale for $3.96 million activity. Englander Daniel J sold $3.96 million worth of Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT) on Tuesday, January 15.

Analysts await Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT) to report earnings on May, 22. They expect $0.61 EPS, up 17.31% or $0.09 from last year’s $0.52 per share. CPRT’s profit will be $139.21M for 27.27 P/E if the $0.61 EPS becomes a reality. After $0.52 actual EPS reported by Copart, Inc. for the previous quarter, Wall Street now forecasts 17.31% EPS growth.

Bridgewater Associates Lp increased Davita Inc (NYSE:DVA) stake by 269,579 shares to 459,733 valued at $23.66M in 2018Q4. It also upped Cvs Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) stake by 505,194 shares and now owns 597,410 shares. Western Un Co (NYSE:WU) was raised too.

The stock decreased 3.02% or GBX 35.5 during the last trading session, reaching GBX 1141. About 1.15M shares traded. easyJet plc (LON:EZJ) has 0.00% since May 2, 2018 and is . It has underperformed by 4.37% the S&P500.

easyJet plc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as an airline carrier primarily in Europe. The company has market cap of 4.51 billion GBP. As of September 30, 2016, it operated 803 routes and a fleet of 257 aircraft. It has a 12.65 P/E ratio.

Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT) Institutional Positions Chart

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European car rental startup Virtuo inks about $23 mln

European car rental service Virtuo has raised 17.3 million pounds (about $23 million) in funding. The investors were Iris Capital, Balderton Capital and …

European car rental service Virtuo has raised 17.3 million pounds (about $23 million) in funding. The investors were Iris Capital, Balderton Capital and Raise Ventures.

PRESS RELEASE

London, 12th February 2019

Car rental startup, Virtuo, stepped up its battle against the giant car rental companies today by announcing that it has raised £17.3m from Iris Capital, Balderton Capital and Raise Ventures to help it make a big push into the UK market in 2019. Virtuo, which currently operates in 21 locations in France and Belgium, also launches in Spain and in Germany in 2019, making it a truly pan-European rental option for drivers who are fed up with being served so poorly by the existing car hire sector.

Virtuo launched in London last summer, having been born out of frustration with traditional car rental. The Virtuo app allows users to book and unlock a pristine Mercedes A-Class or GLA in minutes, at stations across London, and the business has seen revenue grow by 10 times in the UK in the last seven months. As a whole, the company is growing at a rate of 200% per annum.

“Now is the right time for this investment, because we want to revolutionise car rental across Europe and show that with our service, there is simply no need to own a car anymore,” said Virtuo’s Co-founder, Karim Kaddoura. “Travel outside cities in many European countries is not well served. Here in the UK, the railways are becoming less efficient and increasingly expensive. We want to show a younger generation that cars are still a really convenient and cheap way to travel and that you don’t need to own a vehicle to be able to have on-demand and hassle-free access to it.”

Virtuo promises to eradicate the horrors of traditional car hire including hour-long queues at rental desks, unnecessary up-selling of insurance and accessories, never being able to get the car you actually booked, as well as opaque terms and conditions that make hiring stressful and steep penalties easy to incur. Virtuo users can complete all paperwork in the app before picking up a valeted car from their chosen spot and unlocking it with a smart key downloaded to their phone.

Through the app, drivers can extend and modify bookings in seconds and are rewarded for returning their car with extra fuel. The digital car key can be shared between four additional drivers, for no extra charge, and competitive rental rates vary depending on demand, period and rental duration.

Stéphane Pesqué, partner at Iris Capital, said: “Virtuo’s founders have created a business that is disrupting car rental from the ground up relying on a unique digital path for users. We love their attention to detail and their determination to perfect the customer experience, which will convince occasional and frequent drivers that Virtuo is the best solution when travelling for work and leisure in Europe. We are very proud to invest in them at this stage.”

Bernard Liautaud, managing partner of Balderton Capital, said: “Technology in cars and other areas of mobility is evolving rapidly, due to concerns over the environment and congestion. Given these shifts, renting a car as and when you need it is becoming a viable alternative to buying, particularly for younger people who have come of age as the sharing economy took off. The same way innovative tech companies are disrupting legacy players in sectors like finance, Virtuo, in which we first invested 18 months ago, is radically changing the way we hire a car.”

Virtuo is disrupting the car rental space with a product that sets out to fix all the pain points of traditional car rental. During 2019 the mobile-only car hire company will introduce the ability to pick up a vehicle in one place and drop it off elsewhere. It will also launch in Spain and Germany in June, further serving travellers who are frustrated by legacy car-rental companies.

Virtuo facts

Virtuo service is available at six UK locations: Waterloo, Victoria, St Pancras, Marble Arch, Kensington High Street, Stratford International and will shortly be available in Earl’s Court, Shepherd’s Bush, London Bridge, Liverpool Street and Heathrow

Further UK locations – Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh – pending

France: 19 locations

Belgium: 2 locations

Virtuo has had 500,000 downloads of the app

Age bracket of Virtuo’s customer is 25-35

Average number of days of each rental: 4

80% of customers go for the compact A Class, while 20% take SUV

325 average miles per rental

How does Virtuo work:

Customers create their account by providing their driver’s license and a selfie. The whole process takes just a couple of minutes and only has to be carried out once

Once users have decided on their preferred model, Mercedes A-Class or GLA, they can choose the best insurance coverage and personalised options that suit their needs.

The Virtuo app guides users to their car – Virtuo has no rental desks- and takes them through every step of the process.

As customers get closer to their car, they can use the virtual key in the app to unlock it.

A quick damage report is carried out in the app using your phone’s camera

Virtuo’s tariff is from £35 per day in the UK, depending on demand, period and rental duration. The tariff includes up to 150 miles of travel, with the option to exceed this for a surcharge of £0.10 per mile. Up to 4 additional drivers can be registered for each car.

Virtuo’s customer service team can be contacted 24/7 through an integrated chat module that allows the user to ask questions and receive answers in real time.

About Virtuo:

Virtuo was founded out of the frustrations of renting a car from a traditional car rental company. Launched in France in 2016, the company provides a seamless, convenient and affordable way to lease premium cars, through a mobile app. Without paperwork and available 24/7, Virtuo’s cars can be rented from convenient locations like airports and railway stations in France, Belgium and the UK, with more locations opening in 2019. www.govirtuo.com

About Iris Capital

Iris Capital is a leading European VC specialized in the digital economy. It fuels entrepreneurs at various stages of maturity, from early-stage to growth equity. With its deep sector specialization and extensive experience acquired over 30+ years, as well as the backing of its corporate sponsors, Iris Capital provides active support to its portfolio companies, through its presence in Paris, Berlin, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and Dubai.

For more information, visit www.iriscapital.com

About RAISE Ventures:

Founded in 2013 by Clara Gaymard and Gonzague de Blignières, the RAISE Group is organized around four complementary activities: RAISE Investments, RAISE REIM, RAISE Ventures and the RAISESHERPAS Endowment Fund.

– RAISE Investments is a €410 million development capital company targeting ITEs with strong growth potential and taking stakes of between €10 million and €50 million;

– RAISE REIM, a portfolio management company dedicated to real estate, whose first vehicle has a capital of 210M€;

– RAISE Ventures, a €60 million investment company targeting innovative start-ups, within which RAISE Media Investment, a media investment company, is integrated;

– The RAISESHERPAS Endowment Fund, a philanthropic structure with a budget of more than €22 million to support, finance and network startups in order to help them build sustainable adventures.

The RAISE Group is based on a financing mechanism that combines profitability and generosity, since the investment teams give 50% of their profit-sharing to finance the RAISESHERPAS Endowment Fund. This pioneering system in France makes it possible to create a virtuous ecosystem, combining large groups and institutional shareholders, TWAs and startups.

For more information: www.raise.co

About Balderton Capital:

Balderton Capital is Europe’s largest early stage venture capital investor, focused on European technology companies at Series A. Based in London, the firm manages $2.6bn and invests in entrepreneurs building globally ambitious businesses. Balderton’s Partners and advisory team include the founders and operational leaders of multi-billion dollar companies including Business Objects, Dropbox, Uber and Autonomy. Previous investments include Betfair (FTSE: BET), Magic Pony (Twitter), NaturalMotion (Zynga), Sunrise (Microsoft) and Yoox Net-a-Porter (BIT: YNAP). Among Balderton’s current portfolio of 76 companies are: Aircall, Carwow, Citymapper, Contentful, GoCardless, The Hut Group, Kobalt Music, Nutmeg, Prodigy Finance, Recorded Future, Revolut, ROLI, SOPHiA Genetics, Talend (NASDAQ: TLND), Vestiaire Collective, and Vivino. For more see http://www.balderton.com or follow @balderton.

BlackRock Raises Stakes In easyJet And Britvic To 5% (ALLISS)

LONDON (Alliance News) – UK private equity firm BlackRock Inc increased its holdings in FTSE 100 budget airline easyJet PLC and FTSE 250 …

LONDON (Alliance News) – UK private equity firm BlackRock Inc increased its holdings in FTSE 100 budget airline easyJet PLC and FTSE 250 soft-drinks maker Britvic PLC to the reporting threshold of 5% following purchases on Friday last week.

According to stock exchange filings on Monday, BlackRock now holds a 5.36% stake in easyJet and a 5.00% stake in Britvic, both from below 5% previously.

easyJet shares were down 0.3% Monday afternoon at 1,268.00 pence, while Britvic was up 0.7% at 900.50p.

By Tom Waite; thomaslwaite@alliancenews.com

Copyright 2019 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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