MENLO PARK — Uplift, a company that helps travel brands provide a better way to shop, book, pay and experience travel, has raised a $123 million Series C equity financing round, led by Madrone Capital Partners, with participation from existing investors, including Draper Nexus, Ridge Ventures, Highgate Ventures, Barton Asset Management and PAR Capital.
The financing will help Uplift form new travel supplier partnerships as well as investment in growth of the company, new travel-specific capabilities and new travel services.
New travel partners using Uplift include Allegiant Travel Company, KAYAK, Apple Leisure Group, Highgate Hotels, Contiki Tours, Pleasant Holidays, Ski.com, Cruisedirect.com and Flightsearch.com, among others. These partners join existing brands including the vacation package sites of United Airlines, Southwest and American Airlines, as well as Spirit Airlines and Norwegian Cruise Line among many others.
“Uplift’s focused business model of bringing flexible payments to travel is a winner,” said Jamie McJunkin, General Partner at Madrone Capital Partners. “Our confidence to invest was driven by an experienced management team, a very large market opportunity and the competitive advantages driven by the innovations Uplift has brought to the travel market.”
Uplift offers simple, flexible payments for travel, benefiting consumers who are able to book now and pay over time. A wide range of consumers report taking better trips, enjoying the ability to plan ahead and lock in advance purchase fares.
“Our mission is to make travel more accessible, affordable and rewarding for everyone through partnerships with travel brands,” said Brian Barth, Chairman & CEO of Uplift. “We’re heartened by the daily feedback we receive from consumers and the impact we make in their lives, enabling memories and connections.”
Uplift is powered by AI-driven, point-of-sale lending and payments technology, which empowers travel brands to drive increased conversion rates, spend, and attachment of high-value ancillary sales. The company says it is on track to serve one million travelers in 2019, just two years after launch.
“Uplift is built to enable our travel partners to better serve their customers, and with the support of Madrone, we are able to invest across the business for their success,” said Robert Soderbery, President of Uplift. “We are investing in onboarding new partners, expanding our product capabilities and delivering more services to our travel partners.”
Uplift does not market directly to consumers and is dedicated to helping travelers exclusively via partner relationships.