Travlr taps Catalano’s ACM for capital raising as it signs new deal with BBC

Travel technology platform Travlr has raised capital of $6.7 million in a pre-Series B raise from Tony Gandel, Antony Catalano and Alex Waislitz’s Australian Community Media (ACM) and executive chairman of Straight 6 Group, Matt Berriman.

The funds raised are to support a new media partnership with BBC Global News, on top of existing partnerships with Network Ten, which was launched a co-branded travel marketplace in December 2019, and (Stuff Travel). The partnership flags Travlr’s intention to expand into the global market.

Simon te Hennepe

Travlr founder and CEO Simon te Hennepe said: “The travel industry is going through one of the most significant structural changes in a century, paving the way for new and innovative offerings. Our raise and launch of new partnerships with the likes of BBC Global News are evidence that the market sees the value for Travlr’s unique offering.”

Berriman commented: “The global opportunity for Travlr is huge. I see this having similar enterprise media tech characteristics as Unlockd (without the dependency on Google), which will enable us to reach and support tens of millions of travel hungry consumers.”

The partnership with BBC Global News marks the launch of Discover Beyond, a travel platform launching initially in Australia and New Zealand.

BBC Global News senior vice president, commercial development Asia and ANZ, Alistair McEwan, added: “Partnering with Travlr and harnessing its growing travel technology and eco-system to establish the ‘Discover Beyond’ travel marketplace opens up new and exciting opportunities for our audience, providing them with unrivalled access to unique cultural adventures, inspired by BBC Travel Journeys. This is an exciting next step for us to bring this to life for our audience where they can enjoy specially curated itineraries inspired by the stories themselves.”

Te Hennepe added: “The opportunity for global expansion is ripe and we are currently in discussions with media companies to launch platforms in open markets like the US and UK. Through these outstanding partners and our unprecedented audience access, our focus will be on providing global audiences with unique and unforgettable travel experiences.”

In terms of other recent investments Catalano has made, in March this year, he took a stake in regional TV company Prime Media Group. Catalono’s company with Waisilitz WA Chess Investments made the purchase. In September, the company increased its shares to 22.9% from 19.9%.

Catalano has also invested in property data and Artificial Intelligence business Propic in June.

Travlr was launched by te Hennepe and partner Lani, who also founded The Bali Bible.


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