Australian tourism heavyweights back Travello's $6.5m funding round

Australian tourism heavyweights back Travello's $6.5m funding round

Travello co-founders Mark Cantoni and Ryan Hanly ((left to right).

Brisbane-based tourism booking and experiences company Travello has been given a boost thanks to a $6.5 million Series A funding round supported by some of the biggest names in the Australian travel industry.

Now with more than 1.2 million users across 180 countries, the Series A has garnered investment from Flight Centre co-founder Jim Goldburg, former Tourism Australia chief Andrew McEvoy and ex-Velocity boss Phil Gunter.

The round solidifies an existing relationship with Flight Centre for the community-focused app, which expanded further late last year with the acquisition of Backpacker Deals, the largest youth online travel agency in Australasia.

The company plans to use the funds to further fuel growth and capture pent-up Millennial demand for travel experiences as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are really excited to capture millennials' desire to see and experience the world and we are already seeing huge demand from the youth market," says CEO Ryan Hanly, who co-founded Travello in 2016 with Mark Cantoni.

"We are beyond thrilled to have secured the backing of such a prominent, knowledgeable and experienced group of investors in this round.

"Travello is uniquely positioned in the market - our ecosystem and media assets are a powerful combination. We are reaching over 80 million people across our channels each month and this funding will allow us to expand aggressively and capture the travel resurgence over the next 18 months."

He says experiences are the fastest growing vertical in the travel industry, and Travello is excited to be at the forefront of that trend in Australia and New Zealand.

"But the opportunity is much larger than that - we have no intentions of just being a large Australian business - we are aiming global and looking to be Australia's next global travel company," the entrepreneur says.

"Whether it's bungee jumping in Queenstown, rafting the rapids in the rockies or kitesurfing in South-East Asia, Travello is ready to connect adventure-starved travelers with unforgettable experiences and get the world moving again."

Travello investor, ex-Tourism Australia Chief Andrew McEvoy, says said the opportunity is clear for the company.

"The pent up demand for travel is palpable and the pandemic has seen the end of some iconic travel companies previously in the youth and adventure space," he says.

"This opens the way for Travello to be a major player."

Fellow investor and former Velocity CEO Phil Gunter said the company had the fundamentals to scale quickly and globally.

"With a large and engaged community, an effective activities booking engine to deliver value to members and the business, and an innovative rewards program to fuel the whole system, Travello have the trifecta," says Gunter.

"They also have a proven ability to deliver - growing membership and the business strongly through 2020 when leisure travel practically stopped. The future is certainly bright for Travello."

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