The finTech-company, ucandoo, is revolutionizing the market for travel financing
Erfurt, Germany based ucandoo raised a single-digit million investment from lead-investor bm|t beteiligungsmanagement thüringen gmbh and Alpanekino Ltd. ucandoo is a fintech start-up that has developed a platform to make financing travel hassle-free. Experts estimate that today 25 percent of all travel is financed, and the market is growing strongly.
ucandoo´s platform replaces the current cumbersome path via banks and unites the largely separate worlds of travel booking and travel financing.
Customers can now decide in a travel agency if they would like to pay for travel in the conventional manner or with a credit financing with a maximum 12-month duration and a fair interest rate. With only a few data inputs, ucandoo´s partner bank performs an instant creditworthiness check and delivers a financing decision. The service is simple and transparent for the customer and saves significant time spent filling out paperwork at a bank, and, importantly, allows for the time-shifting of payment for travel.
ucandoo is first launching its platform for physical travel agencies and will then address the online market in a second phase. In Germany, for example, over 60% of leisure travel is still booked with physical travel agencies. ucandoo has already won the largest travel-coop in Europe, Raiffeisen-Touristikgruppe, with 7,000 travel agencies in Germany, Austria, Belgian, Holland, and Luxemburg as a key partner. The service will be successively rolled out in Raiffeisen-Touristikgruppe travel agencies throughout 2019. “The product should allow people to take trips that they previously could not have afforded,” explained shareholder and manager Julien Bahadir. Mr. Bahadir also believes the availability of easy financing will result in the booking of higher-end travel. “This investment will allow us to sustainably change the market for financed travel,” he added.
“We strengthen Thüringen´s Economy through targeted investments in innovative growth companies with high potential,” said Kevin Reeder, CEO of bm|t beteiligungsmanagement gmbh. “We believe in the ucandoo team and that they will significantly contribute to the travel market. The startup from Erfurt has a strong idea and vision for disrupting the travel financing market with a sleek technology platform that creates a win-win situation. The travel agencies can offer an added-value service that will increase their bookings and travelers will now have additional options for their travel.”
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bm|t beteiligungsmanagement thüringen gmbh currently manages eight investment funds with a volume of 320 Mio. EUR. As the universal investment company for the federal state of Thuringia, bm|t invests in innovative companies across all sectors and stages, from seed investments in startups to growth equity and mezzanine funding for established companies to succession investments such as MBOs and MBIs. The company´s mission is to strengthen Thuringia´s economy while generating positive investment results through targeted investments in innovative growth companies with high potential. In addition to capital, bm|t brings a wealth of experience and a strong network to its investee-partners.