Travel technology brand Duffel has raised $30 million to launch a new booking platform.
Duffel is developing a tool for agents that will enable them to access airline data and build dynamic packages using New Distribution Capability.
Duffel plans to offer agents the ability to plug directly into airlines’ reservation systems via an API to access real-time flight offers, make bookings, access live seat availability, and buy extra services.
“Until now, new digital and mobile travel agencies – Duffel’s target market – have been forced to put up with long lead times and high costs to access clunky flight booking systems, legacy APIs and outdated, cryptic screens,” said a spokesperson.
“By giving agents a way to connect instantly with airlines, Duffel represents the biggest shake-up of the travel sector since the launch of budget air travel.”
Funds have come from Index Ventures, whose investments include Dropbox. Index joins existing investors Benchmark Capital and Blossom Capital.
Duffel argues there is a need for a shake-up in travel technology.
“Travel and tourism accounted for more than 10% of all global economic activity in 2018. The sector is also the second largest spending category for companies after payroll. Yet the booking experience hasn’t improved since the first wave of travel startups such as Expedia and Kayak.
“Consumers now visit dozens of websites before completing a booking, and a majority of business trips are still booked via email or on the phone.”