A2Btransfers and direct-sell sister brand hoppa will use a £5 million cash injection to expand further internationally and upgrade mobile technology, the company has revealed.
The group will also increase its number of sales staff.
Renaldo Scheepers (pictured), Hoppa Group chief executive, said the investment from Boost&Co last week was the first outside funding the company had received since it was founded in 2005 with just £20,000.
“This is a growth fund to invest in where we want to go; we have strong ambitions to become the airport provider worldwide,” said Scheepers.
The group currently receives 40% of its trade business from international clients and aims to expand throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“We will focus on countries where the travel behaviour is very similar to that of the UK,” Scheepers added.
He also indicated that a large part of the investment would be directed towards mobile technology and the use of apps.
“Things are going more and more online and particularly towards mobile,” he said, adding that offline agents “would find things more challenging” in the next few years if they did not target extra income from ancillary sales and take mobile seriously.
“There is still a lot of opportunity in the UK despite it being a mature market – there are still a lot of companies that do not prioritise ancillaries,” he said.
One part of the expansion plan is an increase in the number of sales staff in international markets. Scheepers would not disclose how many would be recruited, but added that the group currently had 132 employees in total.
Hoppa Group was a supplier to Lowcosttravelgroup, which collapsed in July 2016.
Scheepers said Lowcost had provided 10% of his business and added that the trade and suppliers had been “very supportive” following its collapse.
Despite the loss of such a big customer, Scheepers predicted Hoppa Group’s turnover would grow by £10 million this year to £47 million. The company carries more than three million passengers annually.
He added that the group’s 2016 financials remained flat compared to 2015.
This week, an agent was speculating on the Travel Gossip Facebook page over whether A2Btransfers had “gone bust”, but the company was quick to reassure those commenting that this was not the case.
A spokesperson for the company confirmed to TTG that all was well, highlighting the recent cash injection.
She said the team was making contact with the travel partner (who originally posted) to enquire about their specific issue.