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TrovaTrip, which matches travel group hosts with travelers, lands $15M

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From left: TrovaTrip CEO and co-founder Nick Poggi; co-founder Lauren Schneider; and CTO Brandon Denham. (TrovaTrip Photo)

TrovaTrip, a Portland, Ore.-based startup that runs a marketplace for group travel, raised $15 million in a Series A round led by Seattle’s Madrona Venture Group.

The company said it had 10X growth in bookings last year despite the ongoing pandemic. Travel companies took a hit when the pandemic began, but some have recovered amid an uncertain economy and the lingering effects of COVID-19 around the world. Expedia Group cited strong travel demand in its most recent earnings report.

Founded in 2017, TrovaTrip helps match travel group hosts with travelers. The “hosts” include content creators on social media who use TrovaTrip to generate revenue from their followers. The company lets them set their own trip prices, and gives them audience research tools to collect market data that help craft itineraries. TrovaTrip partners with tour operators who charge a base rate and provide local guides for each group.

More than 15,000 travelers have booked a trip through the company. It has more than 500 itineraries across 49 countries.

TrovaTrip makes money by charging a 10% service fee and a credit card transaction fee to the travelers.

The company was founded by University of Oregon grads Nick Poggi and Lauren Schneider. It hired Brandon Denham, former engineering leader at Extole and Veeva Systems, as CTO in June 2021.

Group room night bookings were down 18% in August compared to similar time periods in 2019, according to the U.S. Travel Association, while overall U.S. travel spend was around 2019 levels.

Other backers in the Series A round include PSL Ventures, Oregon Venture Fund, Elevate Capital, and Portland Seed Fund. Barney Harford, the former CEO of Orbitz, and Eric Breon, founder and former CEO of Vacasa, are also investors.

Madrona Managing Director Scott Jacobson has joined the board. Total funding to date is $20 million.

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