Home / Tech / This London-based startup aspiring to be the Plaid for hotels has raised $20 million from top VCs just four months after its last round

This London-based startup aspiring to be the Plaid for hotels has raised $20 million from top VCs just four months after its last round

Impala team

  • Impala, a London-based tech startup, just raised a $20 million Series B round only four months after securing an $11 million Series A. 
  • The startup provides APIs (application program interface) to “plug in” to hotel databases to improve experiences and raised new funds from top VCs Lakestar and Latitude Capital. 
  • “The travel market is one of the largest in the world and we need to scale to take advantage of that,” Impala cofounder and CEO Ben Stephenson told Business Insider in an interview. “Fundraising is always a distraction but it helps us grow and bring plans forward to better integrate our services with customers.” 
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Getting VC fundraising is a notoriously lengthy and tricky process for startup CEOs. Months of meetings and conversations about your company, revenue, and valuations can be a distraction from the day-to-day running of a business.

Despite that, London-based tech startup Impala has just raised its second VC fundraise, a $20 million Series B, only four months after its last round to continue its scaling plans. 

The startup, which wants to be similar to Plaid — a startup which provides the tech infrastructure for financial services — for hotels, was founded in 2016.  It’s a massive market, with some $600 billion a year spent on hotel booking every year according to Impala, which led to European VCs Lakestar and Latitude Capital approaching the startup for fundraising.

“When we closed the previous round last October we thought ‘let’s get cracking,’ but when investors like Lakestar and Latitude approach you it’s a great opportunity,” Impala’s CEO and cofounder Ben Stephenson told Business Insider in an interview. “They are great investors with strong experience, networks so are a big value add for us.”

In effect, Impala provides APIs to “plug in” to hotel databases to improve experiences with customers able to access booking data to improve how travel booking takes place. 

The company previously closed an $11 million Series A round from Stride.VC, Kima Ventures, and Jerry Murdock, the cofounder of Insight Ventures . Impala had previously raised a $1.75 million seed round.

“I’ve spent the past six months looking at a capital table, fundraising is always a distraction,” Stephenson added. “The travel market is one of the largest in the world and we need to scale to take advantage of that.” 

Impala’s current customers include Phillips and TripAdvisor and it already works with more than 300 hotels, including Accor, Mercure and Hyatt-branded properties. Impala claims to have a backlog of 3,500 hotels awaiting connection to its platform.

“We have been incredibly active in the travel tech space and our signalling system notified us of Impala,” Lakestar partner Christoph Schuh told Business Insider in an interview. “We were disappointed to miss the Series A but we had a good conversation with Ben about doubling down and scaling to go to market. The round was competitive and we’re ready to execute with our experience.” 

SEE ALSO: We asked 9 of the most prominent VC investors in European tech to pick out fintech startups they think will blow up in 2020. Here are the 15 they chose.

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