Evaneos, a travel organization specialist, raises 20 million euros. A fundraising carried out with its historic investors Partech, Level Equity, Quadrille Capital, XAnge, Serena Capital and the Digital Ambition Fund (Bpifrance). The start-up founded in 2009 has raised a total of €100 million since its inception, including €70 million in 2018.
A marketplace to connect with agencies
Evaneos introduces himself as “a marketplace to connect travelers with local agencies to create unique and authentic trips tailored to the needs of each person”summarizes Eric la Bonnardière. “50% of travelers are concentrated in about ten destinations”, he adds. Faced with this finding, Evaneos has positioned itself against mass tourism since its inception. The market ensures that it offers alternatives to these popular destinations.
An algorithm selects the best local agencies according to the needs and desires of the clients. So, the trip preparation is done directly between the local agency and the traveler through the tools offered by Evaneos. This company has developed a set of software so that agencies can contact travellers, manage payments, monitor the trip and its quality, gather customer opinions, etc.
Evaneos receives a commission from travel agencies, but ensures that the trips offered on its marketplace are priced the same as when the agencies sell them directly. The start-up has more than 600 agencies in 160 destinations and 500 thousand customers have already booked trips through its platform since its creation. “Over 40% of travelers leave with us in the years following their first trip”adds the co-founder.
A profitable first year in 2022
After difficult Covid years for the tourism industry, business is picking up. Evaneos claims to have four times the turnover this year than in 2021. Above all, the start-up will be profitable for the first time in 2022. This profitability was possible because Evaneos focused on strengthening the efficiency of its business model🇧🇷 The startup focused on improving quote count transformation, reducing spend in the marketing division, and limiting reliance on Google. In this regard, Eric la Bonnardière specifies that he has invested in the Evaneos brand, namely through advertising campaigns on the metro and buses. AND “the average basket of travelers is increasing”he adds.
Fundraising therefore finances Evaneos’ acceleration in two themes: reinvesting in markets outside France (particularly Spain, Italy and Germany) and strengthening technology teams. The start-up intends to work on its platform to improve the trip selection tool, streamline communication, expand the offer with low-carbon trips (train travel, proximity, etc.). Evaneos also plans to create tools to help agencies create new offerings and bring them online.
Towards a more sustainable tourism
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the start-up explains that it worked in the aftermath with the network of local agencies, both in rescheduling canceled trips and in implementing a more ecological strategy. Evaneos is committed to an approach that aims to offer more sustainable tourism, both at an environmental and social level, that is, one that maximizes the income of local communities. “A process that has been going on for a long time”adds Eric la Bonnardière.
The start-up questioned itself about elements of differentiation and decided to continue working on a more local and domestic offer. Going in that direction, it removed 25% of the agencies from its marketplace, that is, more than 150. The objective is to offer agencies that are aligned with Evaneos’ values in these environmental and social themes. Today, the start-up offers “offset 100% of carbon emissions” trips booked on its platform and intends to continue to reinforce this aspect of ecological tourism.
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