Afternoon Coffee: T&E data specialist TripActions raises $155 million; PRO recap: Ravacan, CW/S technology in 2021, GEP budget-to-pay

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TripActions, an artificial intelligence-enabled booking and management platform, announced it raised $155 million in an investment led by Andreessen Horowitz, according to VentureBeat. This latest investment brought TripActions’ valuation to $5 billion.

The TripActions platform is made specifically to offer enterprises real-time data, automated reporting and insights into business travel and expenses. This investment comes at a time when businesses across the spectrum embrace new ways of functioning, with things like remote work taking center stage. Corporate travel has been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic, the article said, raising some questions about the viability of platforms such as TripActions.

The platform gives companies access to all types of inventories like flights, accommodation or car rentals. A new selling point is the growing amount of data it offers, with the platform now serving as an end-to-end tool encompassing travel and expense management, the article said.

“Corporate travel won’t ever be the same, but that doesn’t really affect the long-term plans of our company or our investors,” TripActions co-Founder and CEO Ariel Cohen told VentureBeat. “Even if travel is different in the future — say, more teams travel for remote team meetings or a wider spectrum of employees travel fewer times per year — TripActions will still be winning that business.”

Public-private partnerships can help solve government financial woes

The coronavirus pandemic has brought many financial woes to state and local governments, leading to an opportunity for developers and real estate investors to join public-private partnerships, according to the New York Times.

These partnerships rely on investors to shoulder upfront financial risks for various projects like school or transportation improvements. The article said nearly 90% of cities will be less able to meet their financial needs in fiscal year 2021 than in 2020.

The big selling points include private companies paying up front, managing the entire project and promising faster completion. However, since interest rates are low and likely to stay low, state or local governments might be able to float bonds to raise money, the article said.

“We are seeing this just historic drop-off in revenues that public agencies are having to cope with that is certainly causing many projects to be delayed and put on hold and be canceled, yet the need for infrastructure investment is more acute than ever,” David J. Odeh, a structural engineer and principal in Odeh Engineers, told the New York Times.

Spend Matters' analysts look at Ravacan, CW/S in 2021 and GEP’s budget-to-pay solution

This week, Spend Matters PRO analyst Nick Heinzmann looked at the Ravacan solution, a direct materials platform. Also, analyst Andrew Karpie gave us a two-part look at the contingent workforce space in 2021 considering the Covid-19 disruption and all. Finally, Pierre Mitchell analyzed the GEP budget-to-pay solution. (In a non-subscription post, Pierre makes a broader case for plan-to-pay technology here.)

Our PRO subscribers can read the full articles, but all readers can see the lengthy intros that frame the issues being discussed. This week:

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