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Cover Story: 10 Best Service Providers 2019


ciobulletin tripactions ariel cohen ceo co founder ilan twig cto co founder

TripActions: The Ultimate Experience in Business Travel

Businesses are forever in a state of expansion and in need of corporate travel. This brings into the equation the additional requirement for businesses to have a good travel policy and a travel solution to enable seamless travel experience for its employees. While there are many companies providing travel solutions, a modern travel management platform needs to offer much more than just booking options. Such sophistication coupled with the ease of use is something TripActions is synonymous with. On top of this, TripActions comes highly recommended by the world’s largest companies due to the high user adoption rates which often cross 90%.

The Palo Alto-based company was founded by the duo co-founders Ariel Cohen and Ilan Twig. The duo had previously worked together when they co-founded yet another company called StreamOnce. The company was acquired for an estimated $10 million in 2013.

The founders felt that there was an issue with business travel. To fill this gap, they came up with the idea of the TripActions. The company was founded in 2015 and has quickly become associated with the world’s best companies. Their corporate travel management platform has helped businesses and their employees all over the globe. Using TripActions, corporate travelers can arrange flights, book hotels, and transportation with the assistance of the company’s 24/7 global support.

TripActions is so much more than just a booking tool. Owing to this, the company in 2019 has over a thousand customers including many big names like Lyft, Twitch, Box, Lime, Dropbox, Classpass, and Slack.

Growth story

TripActions, which was founded in 2015, has received a $4 million seed funding. Its seed round was led by Zeev ventures. Among the other participants were Dovi Frances and Lightspeed Venture Partners. The company successfully launched its alpha the same year and as a result, made their first booking. The following year proved to be a fantastic experience for the company as it discovered that 50% of its bookings were either a hit or a miss.

10 best service providers 2019 tripactions

In June 2016, the company opened its Headquarters at Menlo Park. The same month the company was able to welcome its first corporate customer SurveyMonkey. The following year saw the company set shop in the city of San Francisco and launch itself in the market. By mid-year, they had shifted their HQ to its present location in Palo Alto. 2017 was a happening year for the company as it completed its Series A round where it was able to raise $27 million and closed out the year by crossing the 50 employee mark.

2018 was momentous as the company grew to over 100 employees very early in the year and 3 months later the number hit 200. In March, the company was successful in attracting more investments as it raised $51 million in the Series B round which was led by Lightspeed Ventures and Zeev. The company also opened doors to its London office, established its European HQ at Amsterdam, expanded to NYC and Sydney, and set up its support team in Dallas, Texas later

A Unicorn

With a fantastic reported 700% annual growth rate and customers in excess of 1,000, the company raised $154 million in Series C funding in late 2018. The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz. Lightspeed Venture Partners, Zeev Ventures, and SGVC also participated in the round. The company in total has raised an estimated $236 million to date. Ben Horowitz joined the board of directors too.

The round also made the company one of the most well-capitalized travel startups in Silicon Valley. Following the round of funding, the company was valued at over $1 billion, giving it the distinction of becoming a ‘unicorn’.

Working with Lyft

Lyft is one of the most valuable companies in the world with a valuation that is well over $20 billion. The transportation network company hit a hyper-growth phase in the past few years. In early 2018, the team at Lyft was struggling to evolve their travel policy that needed to adapt to the company’s rapid growth. They needed a change for better customer service for employee and higher user adoption rates.

Earlier, Lyft used another business travel company for travel solutions but Lyft identified a gap in customer service. The company did not provide 24/7 support and lacked no integrated app which dealt with issues innovatively. TripActions was different from the previous partner and most importantly provided 24/7 support. Further, Lyft noticed that the user adoption rates jumped up in the first two weeks of having TripActions onboard. The numbers hit an astounding 85% first and then went over 90%.

The multi-billion dollar company was also impressed by how TripActions brought together technology and humans. Both the companies hit it off as they had similar interests in positioning their customer service in a unique way.

Recognized for its work

TripActions has been recognized widely for its work and culture. But 2017 was a breakthrough year for the company when it received as many as ten awards in Comparably’s annual Best Places to Work list. Among the awards were the Best company Culture, Best company CEO, Best Company Diversity, and Best company Managers.

The company was recognized as one of the Top Startups in the United States in 2018 by LinkedIn. TripActions has had a good start in 2019 too as its positive impact on various customers has also been recognized. The company has been recognized by the Fast Company as one of the year's 10 most innovative companies in travel for 2019. The recognition places TripActions with the likes of other ace travel innovators like Delta Air Lines and Skift.

Meet the founding duo

Ariel Cohen, CEO and Co-founder

Cohen has found another company with co-founder Ilan Twig before TripActions. This company was called StramOnce which is a business multimedia integration platform. The company was acquired by Jive Software. Prior to StreamOnce, Cohen led Product Management in a senior leadership role at HP.

He has an EMBA from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.

Ilan Twig, Co-founder and CTO

Ilan Twig is responsible for leading TripActions’ product development and engineering teams. He has had a long career in engineering which spanned two decades. He has led large research and development teams at HP and Rockmelt.

He earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at the Academic College of Tel-Aviv, Yaffo.

Helping Andela with its travel plans

Andela is one of the best startups coming out Africa which connects the best of the African developers with the world’s greatest tech companies. Its presence spans two continents and five countries. Their developers need to regularly navigate the globe, so, they needed a travel solution. And ordinary simply wasn’t going to cut it.

Their travel solution wasn’t well-equipped to support the employee’s international travel. This meant that when it came to issues, they were routed to generic phone support. Most in an organization had to rely on a travel manager because of this. To solve these issues Andela required a new travel solution.

TripActions fit the bill perfectly. TripActions’ intuitive interface was one of the main reasons. Andela felt that the results were also a lot cleaner and optimized for business travel. The international customer support offered by the company was one of the biggest reasons Andela decided on TripActions. With TripActions onboard, people could use its ability to chat and create local phone numbers. India, a travel manager at Andela said: “Now when people are having any problems, they get on TripActions and start a chat or give them a call.”

Our previous platform pulled up all these useless flights that weren’t reasonable because they were over 30 hours long, or had three layovers. On TripActions, the results are a lot cleaner and optimized for business travel.

Customer Testimonials

TripActions is doing a good job of bringing together technology and humans and having them run harmoniously. Because they have [tools like] chatbots that can say, “Hey I noticed that something changed with your trip,” and they have the instant messages and so forth. But then, very quickly, in a matter of seconds up to a few minutes, a real human being will be able to connect to the end user. Not just from a corporate administrator such as myself, but even to the end user.

- Omar G, Lyft

We chose TripActions as our global travel provider due to the slick UI, awesome savings opportunities and 10 times higher engagement. Implementation was a cinch and we seamlessly integrated it with our other key SaaS partners. Boxers love the tool and have shared positive feedback highlighting TripActions’ fast and friendly customer service.

- Stef L., Chief of Staff to the CFO and Treasurer, Box

TripActions enables you to build, manage and scale a world-class corporate travel management program with ease.

Give your travelers the best booking experience around, unrivaled inventory and hands-on, personalized support.

We know that at the heart of every successful travel program is a platform and experience travelers love. Our mission is to deliver the best experience in business travel.

MAGAZINES