Bangalore-based Shorebird Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which operates travel enterprise resource planning platform Tripeur, has secured an undisclosed amount in seed funding led by Grace Grace Techno Ventures LLP, the company said in a statement.
Early-stage investor Rajul Garg and a few other angels also participated in this round.
Thiagarajan Rajagopalan, co-founder and CEO, Tripeur, told VCCircle that the funds will primarily be used for product development, ramping up its technology infrastructure and sales and marketing teams, besides acquiring new customers. However, he did not disclose the names of the other investors.
“With the flagship, Tripeur, they are creating a travel ERP software market and we see tremendous growth potential for them in this space,” said Mukesh Makhija, founding partner, Grace Techno.
Shorebird Technologies was incorporated in December 2015 by Rajagopalan and Sajit Chacko. Tripeur, the app-based service that was launched seven or eight months ago, acts as a one-stop shop for all processes related to business travel and expense management. It offers a host of services, including raising a trip request, getting approval, hotel bookings and understanding the business policy. For the administration and the finance department, the suite helps in ascertaining the value proposition of every business travel undertaken by the employee.
“Business travel is a significant part of a company present across cities or countries and it is also a significant part of its expenses,” Rajagopalan had earlier said, adding that Tripeur is a sophisticated tool that can help them understand where the money is spent on travel and how they can optimise it.
The company also has other add-on products that uses the Tripeur platform, including a business travel analytics module, travel policy assistant module and an expense optimiser.
Rajagopalan, an alumni of BITS-Pilani and Kansas State University, had stints with Qualcomm and Motorola before starting out on his own. Chacko, a hotel management graduate, had also founded food and beverage outlets Umerkot, Tattva and Cloud Bar. He had earlier worked at Leela Palace, Leela Kempinski and Taj Group of Hotels.
At present, the travel automation startup offers the software at no cost, but charges a fee for all transactions on the platform. Going forward, it has plans to introduce a subscription-based model, besides charging for using all its modules. “The broad contours of the pricing strategy is still evolving and we are still figuring that out,” Rajagopalan told VCCircle.
It is initially targeting the medium and small enterprises that can spend between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1 crore in business travel expenses per month. So far, it has over 30 registered enterprise customers on board.
According to Rajagopalan, the business travel market in India was a $30 billion opportunity in 2015 and was growing at 10-11% every year. “India is the fastest-growing market for business travel,” he said, adding that an international expansion is on the cards.