With coronavirus cancelling many of our holidays and trips away, we thought we’d have a travel-based startup for this week – helping us look forward to the end of the pandemic, and all of the postponed holidays people will finally be able to take!
Therefore, our startup for this week is Duffel! Helping travel agencies to increase their revenue whilst streamlining operations. This UK startup has well and truly disrupted the travel sector, innovating outdated systems, and changing the way agencies operate for good.
Until now, the startup’s target market of digital and mobile travel agencies have had to endure high costs and long lead times to access clunky flight booking systems.
Founded in 2017, Duffel was made to change this, providing a way for agencies to instantly connect with airlines, and representing, as Duffel themselves claim, “the biggest shakeup of the travel sector since the launch of budget air travel.”
“Today, more than 4 billion airline passengers rely on technology that hasn’t kept up with the expectations of the modern connected traveller. That’s why we’ve started to rebuild the infrastructure that underpins the travel industry. Layer by layer, piece by piece, we’re building the tools that make travel effortless for today’s travellers.”
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Duffel enables travel agencies to tap directly into airlines’ reservation systems. This is done through an API, enabling agencies to access real-time offers on flights, bookings, seat availability and more, from over 18 different airlines.
Through Duffel’s tools, travel agencies can significantly improve the time efficiency of their operations, as well as expanding their offers for customers on in-flight meals, luggage and seat allocations.
The startup can also help agencies to better manage refunds and cancellations for customers, and is currently working on a new management application for travel agents.
Co-founder and CEO of Duffel Steve Domin said: “A new breed of online agencies want to access reservation systems quickly and seamlessly. By reinventing the underwiring between online agents and airlines we can transform the world of travel booking and reduce barriers to entry for innovative new companies that are offering travellers a whole new way of creating a holiday or trip.”
In October last year, Duffel raised an impressive $30 million in a Series B funding round. The round was led by Index Ventures, and was used for expansion of both its team and its reach in North America and Europe. Jan Hammer, partner at Index Ventures, said:
“We are incredibly impressed by the Duffel team, who we have supported since the days of their seed funding. There is an opportunity here to transform the booking experience for travellers and ease many of the pain points in the industry. From the launch of budget airlines to sharing economy businesses like Airbnb, travel has changed and Duffel will provide the tools, built from the ground up, that make the next wave of innovation possible.”