GOOGLE-INSPIRED ROCKETRIP RAISES $3M TO PAY EMPLOYEES FOR TRAVEL ON THE CHEAP
Y Combinator grad Rocketrip just picked up some more cash to kick its “everybody wins” business model into action.
The New York-based startup, which rewards employees with gift cards or cash equivalents for saving their companies money with thrifty travel plans, has raised another $3 million in funding, it announced today.
Effectively, Rocketrip pays out $1 in value for every $2 you save your company on travel plans. The model was openly inspired by Google, which saw a reduction in travel costs after implementing a similar policy and tool internally.
“There isn’t a company on the planet that doesn’t have a travel and expense problem,” Dan Ruch, Rocketrip’s founder and CEO, told VentureBeat recently. “We introduce that incentive to align [employees’] interests with the company policy.”
To use Rocketrip’s tool, you first log in and feed it your travel details. The software determines how much that should cost based on real-time market data and your company’s policies (can you normally fly business class, for example?). Then you book your own travel through any web-based service and send the digital receipts to Rocketrip, which automatically calculates how much you saved your company and awards you points in return.
Rocketrip’s pilot programs proved that it can slash clients’ travel expenses by over 20%, said Ruch. So far this year, Rocketrip has saved customers $200,000 across more than 1,000 business trips, according to the company.
Rocketrip sees its new financing as an extension of the $2.6 million round it raised earlier this year, with existing investors Canaan Partners and Genacast Ventures pitching in alongside new investors CrunchFund and Paul Buchheit (the creator of Gmail). The company plans to put the money toward product development and sales efforts, according to a statement. Rocketrip’s total financing now stands at $6.2 million.