UK P2P Travel Marketplace TransferTravel Raises 1.1m Euro Series A

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One of the most impactful trends in the tourism industry? Sustainable travel. We spoke to TransferTravel's CEO & founder Simon Powell about its implications & the journey of his startup.

Simon, how would you describe TransferTravel in a few words?

TransferTravel is a dedicated, peer-to-peer travel marketplace, allowing people to buy & sell unwanted travel tickets. was never set up to be just another travel website, instead, it was formed to be a community whereby all inventory was provided by peers to be sold to peers.

You’ve evolved from a peer-to-peer travel marketplace for pre-booked and unwanted travel plans focusing on flights to a P2P marketplace to accommodate for all travel bookings. What can you tell us about this process?

Our plan for was (and still is), to accommodate for all types of travel bookings. In February of this year, the acquisition of JumpFlight was purchased to secure our position in Europe and to boost inventory on the website.

As we are always adding categories to our site to provide an avenue for all those stuck with unwanted bookings, we have recently added a ‘Festival Ticket with Accommodation’ option in order to address a growing demand. The company will never have a focus on a specific type of travel, instead, we will continue to meet the demands of our ever-growing community and address all types of unused, yet transferable travel bookings that are going to waste.

Part of your growth also involved opening an office in San Francisco. As a startup from the UK, in what ways has this step impacted your business? was founded on the Isle of Man in June 2016, since then we have opened an office in London and San Francisco. The office expansion has allowed the business to reach an international audience, with our registered users coming from all over the world. Last month we reached the milestone of receiving listings from 103 countries, confirming the brand’s global reach and the market for unwanted travel bookings.

As you already mentioned, in February you acquired the flight ticket marketplace JumpFlight – what has happened since then?

In April 2017, we received our first award nomination, EyeForTravel’s Startup Innovation Award. We pitched alongside many other travel startups and it was great to get acknowledgment from the rest of the UK travel community.

In June 2017, we implemented our payment gateway which put into a unique position by adding more IP into the company and providing a safe way to transfer between peers. We take 15% from the sellers in order to assist in marketing their travel plans to potential buyers, but also offer peace of mind to the buyer to provide confidence that booking has been transferred. We have just completed our Series A funding and now in the process of building a new website, due to go live 2018.

Your Series A raised 1.1m Euro. What will this money be used for? Where’s TransferTravel headed to?

The focus for the company for the upcoming months will be the further development of the website to ensure both buyers & sellers have a first class experience when they buy & sell unwanted travel plans. We are also planning the build of an app and further global exposure with our ever-growing team. We are also going to invest in a company re-brand, so expect to see a different color palette and logo! It’s an exciting time for the company and we can’t wait to grow the brand further.

What is the biggest challenge that the company has faced recently?

Peer-to-Peer marketplaces are officially on the rise, the one question we always seem to come back to is, “How much trust can you put into a stranger?”. To overcome the problems that can arise from a lack of trust, we decided to create a community built on the power of humanity and we rely on this factor in order to succeed as a company. has provided a platform that accommodates for the transfer of unwanted travel plans for both buyers and sellers. The website’s core focus is with the customer and the T&C’s of using the service is that buyers/sellers are responsible for the transfer of their own tickets, with this in mind we have seen the community flourish via communication and trust between users.

Another challenge we had to overcome was the buyer vs. seller balance. Our focus at the initial stages of the marketplace was to acquire sellers as inventory is required in order to attract buyers to the site. When the site was just starting out we acquired JumpFlight. This business decision gave the marketplace a massive boost in the right direction, receiving regular registrations/listings from the US, UK, and Europe.

The travel industry is undergoing a transformation toward a more digital approach. In your opinion, what are some innovations it will experience in the near future?

Sustainable travel. We are all aware of recycling our unwanted clothes, food, and all other belongings, however, we haven’t been educated in the recycling of unwanted travel. For every wasted holiday there is a dream destination available and for every canceled vacation there is a travel opportunity. TransferTravel aims to turn cancellations into opportunities via an innovative perspective on the reuse of travel bookings as we believe that the rise of the sharing economy will only expand alongside the prevention of wasting products/services that people have pre-paid. The innovation is the humanitarian fuelled businesses. We will continually seek to reinvent the last minute travel market and create a new perspective on sustainable travel.

What’s next for TransferTravel?

We are currently in the process of creating a brand new platform for along with an app to enhance customer experience for both desktop and mobile users. We are always testing the site and processes within the company in order to improve the quality of our service.

What most people don’t realize is that even though some tickets are non-refundable, most are transferable. The responsibility to check these policies lies with the person that purchased a ticket from a travel provider, the plan is to educate travel consumers on their ticket rights in order to prevent wasted travel tickets. The long-term goal is to assist people to turn their cancellations into opportunities and wasted travel plans to destination wish lists.

What’s one piece of advice you can give to fellow founders for their startup?

Turning an idea into a reality is what strives the team to get out of bed in the morning. The freedom to create something that has no limitations yet solves a problem that we can all at some point relate to. I could write about the ‘textbook’ stages of what a startup has to go through in order to achieve, but you already know that. What you don’t see is the doubt that you have to battle, the motivation you need to keep consistent no matter the circumstance, the commitment that every member of staff puts into the brand, the perseverance when it gets a little rocky and the faith in the idea that we all truly believe in. Keep going, stay true to your company values and have confidence in the brand you created!



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